September 30, 2017
We’re in This Together
It’s the first Friday of the month, which means the North Shore Memory Café in Evanston awaits me. Laughter drifts out of the doorway of the room where we meet, and I enter and hang up my coat and look around. The familiar faces of the regulars are at ease. Some are perusing the snack bar, others are catching up with friends. I grab the name tags and marker and I look for those who are new to the group, who may be unsure of what to expect and whether they really want to be here.
They are here to venture into the world of memory loss with the rest of us, and no one comes willingly. This is where I come in. Whatever I can do to make their journey easier makes my life richer. A loved one usually accompanies the person with memory loss, but if someone is alone, I immediately gravitate to them to make them feel at ease.
The café is more than a support group. It’s a sanctuary filled with friendship and caring and fun. Every month offers a different activity, from art therapy to dancing to improvisation. After the activity we talk about how life is going, the negatives and the positives, and we learn from one another. Laughter is guaranteed, and the energy of the room always seems lighter at the end of the meeting. I wish the meetings were more frequent, so I could see everyone more often. But for now, I’ll have to be happy with once a month.
The North Shore Memory Café is held on the first Friday of every month from 1pm-3pm, at the Levy Center: 300 Dodge Ave. Evanston, IL. All are welcome – RSVP required: 312-273-9000 extension 8.