My mother, Delores Freeman, was the original “shot caller” in my life. With one look, she could direct a household, family and job site like a seasoned military officer. In 1978, she was diagnosed with a blood disorder that impacted her platelet count negatively. In 1988, exactly a year after my father’s death, she had a bad seizure and lapsed into coma for 30 days. In 2001 after she suffered a stroke, friends and relatives began noticing that she was having cognitive challenges. It was most notable during a card game she loved. Between 2002-2009, she suffered 5 more strokes and with each stroke her cognition and mobility became more challenged. As her only child, I became primarily responsible for assisting her in navigating health care and independence. Ultimately, I have been honored to be her caregiver. None of this would have been possible without our family, my husband, Carmen; daughter Jordan (who assumed responsibility for helping “Granny” at 9); and her siblings, Marjorie, Helen and Gerald. In 2009, she had her last stroke on Mother’s Day while learning to walk again in a nursing home. Our family conferred and agreed that if they could “watch her have a stroke,” we could do the same and she would be more comfortable. Medical professionals went to great lengths to discourage this decision. It was the hardest decision I have ever made. But it is the most rewarding of my personal life. Today, she lives in our home—bedridden and without the ability to verbalize, but still one of the strongest women and most effective communicators I know. I am so grateful to my family, especially my daughter who sacrificed from the age of 9 to look after “Granny.” God bless you Maria for raising awareness about this devastating disease. God’s strength to all caregivers past, present and future. Everyday I pray that I am blessed with 1/10 of the fortitude my mother has exemplified to me and others.