The Importance of Friendships

You might recall the content of my last blog piece about the deer with the broken leg.  The deer never gave up.  She not only survived through the winter, but recovered from her injury and returned to my backyard with not only a limp, but her healthy new fawn.  Her story is inspiring.

If that deer can carry on, so can I.  And what helps me carry on are the friendships that my husband Dan and I have made through the Alzheimer’s Association.  We have added them to our life time friendship list.

Now I want my readers to take the time to think about your friends. Go back in time and recall how you met them. Did you meet through mutual friends in school, at work or play? What did you like about them?  If you have lost touch with them, take the time to find them.  See what they are up to.  Care about the friendship.

I met my husband Dan when I out having fun with a co-worker named Jane.  Neither Jane nor I wanted to go out that evening. Exhausted from our work day with a very demanding boss, we both decided to stay at home. After hours went by, we changed our agenda and went out on the town.  That evening ended up to be pivotal because Jane and I met our future husbands that magical night.

I will never forget her husband tapping me on the shoulder, asking me to introduce him to her. And so I did.

Later that evening, I saw a good friend of mine. He asked me to excuse his appearance.  He wanted to introduce me to his good friend Dan Johnson. I looked up and shook Dan’s hand.  Both guys were sweaty and under dressed after playing basketball at the local YMCA.  I met Dan, my husband, that evening.

What if I had decided to stay home?  The rest is history.

So my point here is – don’t sit and mope because you have Alzheimer’s disease.  Stay active as long as you can.  Be social with your Alzheimer’s friends and your old friends. If they are genuine friends, they will be understanding.  Mine are.

Dan and I have a standing Tuesday Night Movie and Dinner with a couple who are life-long friends.   I have known Tom since grade school and Dolly since high school.  Dan was a fraternity brother of Tom’s in college. Old friends are golden.

I have been a member of a weekly Bible study for years.  It started at church and continued in each other’s homes even throughout our various moves.  The group has been so kind to me since my Alzheimer’s diagnosis.   They truly understand that sometimes I am not always sharp in the discussion and struggle to keep up and answer the questions.

What’s really important here – the socialization and the friendships are far more important than being able to answer all of the questions.  Do not let Alzheimer’s disease get in your way. Enjoy each and every day.

2911_Alzheimers-1005 Barb Johnson small


~ Barbara Cheek Johnson is a journalist living with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease ~



  1. Boy, Barb, you hit the nail on the head! I don’t know what we’d do without you and Dan as part of our Purple Canoe Club, we love you both – you are truly an inspiration to all of us.

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