Sharing the Journey


By Tom Macpherson | Friday 01 November 2013

Seeing at first hand the effect that Alzheimer’s was having on my brother in law, Bill, and his wife, my sister, Morag, who looks after him, I wanted to raise funds and awareness of Alzheimer’s and the necessary research that will be required to combat it. Bill worked in London, was involved in his own marine company, I liked walking and therefore walking the Thames Pathway from source to sea was the natural journey to undertake.

Restoring Processes

If only it stopped there, 
The television left on at the socket,
The umbrella remaining on the train seat, 
Searching for tickets in your pocket.

If only it stopped there, 
When you cannot tie your shoe lace,
Shirt fastened at angles of degrees, 
And there is stubble on half of your face.

If only it stopped there, 
How many sugars, was it coffee you said,
Did I order a sandwich, was it not soup, 
You know I like their granary bread.

If only it stopped there, 
Have you been to the toilet, had your shower
Did you comb your hair, brush your teeth, 
Different socks on , what is the hour ?

If only it stopped there, 
Too many controls to press,
Red, yellow, blue buttons, 
This inability all adds to the stress

If only it stopped there, 
Your shadow, mine I try to hide
Like twins stuck together, 
You are always at my side

If only it stopped there, 
There is just nothing I can do
This useless limp body, 
This person, he is who?

If only it stopped there, 
I don’t know your name
Am I married, I have children? 
This illness is to blame.

That’s why research is required, 
To help it stop there
And not progress by stages, 
This life in a desert called nowhere.

And so I have just walked over 200 miles along this immense river and in the words of Emeli Sande; ‘Follow me, I’ll be your river, I’ll do the running for you, Follow me, I’ll keep you floating, And together we will reach the sea.’

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About the author

Tom Macpherson

Tom Macpherson, a retired research laboratory manager from Glasgow, recently completed his first fundraising challenge for Alzheimer’s Research UK by doing his own self-led 184 mile walk along the Thames Pathway. His journey (the equivalent distance of just over 7 marathons) took him 18 days and has inspired friends, family and even strangers to donate and raised over £5000 for Alzheimer's Research UK.