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He sings to his mom on her porch, although she doesn't recognize home anymore.

His mom has an incurable disease, but he tells her that everything is going to be all right.

He sings to his mom on her porch, although she doesn't recognize home anymore.
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Joe Fraley has been a musician for 14 years. He enjoys playing his tunes for his mom, Judy.

Like any supportive parent, she mostly digs it. So when he started strumming his guitar on their front porch just seven months ago, his mom happily bopped to the music.


But something was different about this jam session. Joe didn't know it, but he was playing for her for one of the last times at home.

He sang: "I'm feeling so happy. I finally feel like I've got no one to fight. ... I don't have to worry anymore."

But before he could belt out the lyrics, his mom said, "I'm getting very confused, honey." And after he finished, she asked, "Now how do you know where we are?"

"Everything is going to be OK," he answered.

A few days after he sang this hopeful song, Judy was placed in an assisted living facility near their home in Monrovia, California. Today she's in hospice care, battling late-stage Alzheimer's disease.

Joe and his family were told that there's nothing they could have done to prevent the progress of the incurable disease. According to the Alzheimer's Association, the illness severely affects the memory, thinking and behavior of millions of people nationwide. The majority of folks who battle Alzheimer's are 65 and older. Judy was 70 at the time of this video.

Joe told me in an email interview:

"By the time she was diagnosed she was fairly far along. We knew something was up for years. She kept forgetting things, told the same stories over and over again, her food taste changed. ...We feared it was Alzheimer's, but we put off taking her to the doctor because you kind of didn't want to know."

Joe then moved home to help take care of his mom. Looking back, he wishes that they had known sooner.

"Towards the end, having her at our house was basically a living nightmare," he said. "She was combative and having severe hallucinations. ... Seeing my mom confused and scared is the worst thing I've ever had to go through in my life."

He tries to think about who she was before her memory began to slip. Judy had been a therapist and teacher and had worked at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and at high schools throughout Los Angeles for decades. Cool stuff. But what Joe remembers most is that matter how bad someone felt, she could make them feel OK.

After Judy arrived at an assisted living facility, Joe went to play music for her. She doesn't always recognize him, but sometimes she claps along.

Other times she leaves the room.

With almost two-thirds of American's with Alzheimer's disease being women, Joe wants other families to know that they're not alone:

"Take care of your loved ones that have the disease; give them a good diet, exercise, and mental stimulation. But also never forget to take care of yourself too. The disease can hurt the caretakers almost as much as the people who have it."

Here's a sweet flashback to when John sang to his mom for one of the last times at home:


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Anne Hebert, a marketing writer living in Austin, TX, jokes that her closest friends think that her hobby is "low-key harassment for social good". She authors a website devoted entirely to People Doing Good Things. She's hosted a yearly canned food drive with up to 150 people stopping by to donate, resulting in hundreds of pounds of donations to take to the food bank for the past decade.

"I try to share info in a positive way that gives people hope and makes them aware of solutions or things they can do to try to make the world a little better," she said.

For now, she's encouraging people through a barrage of persistent, informative, and entertaining emails with one goal in mind: getting people to VOTE. The thing about emailing people and talking about politics, according to Hebert, is to catch their attention—which is how lice got involved.

"When my kids were in elementary school, I was class parent for a year, which meant I had to send the emails to the other parents. As I've learned over the years, a good intro will trick your audience into reading the rest of the email. In fact, another parent told me that my emails always stood out, especially the one that started: 'We need volunteers for the Valentine's Party...oh, and LICE.'"

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Photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash

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I remember being baffled that so many people were so convinced of Clinton's evil schemes that they genuinely saw the documented serial liar and cheat that she was running against as the lesser of two evils. I mean, sure, if you believe that a career politician had spent years being paid off by powerful people and was trafficking children to suck their blood in her free time, just about anything looks like a better alternative.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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With the election quickly approaching, the importance of voting and sending in your ballot on time is essential. But there is another way you can vote everyday - by being intentional with each dollar you spend. Support companies and products that uphold your values and help create a more sustainable world. An easy move is swapping out everyday items that are often thrown away after one use or improperly disposed of.

Package Free Shop has created products to help fight climate change one cotton swab at a time! Founded by Lauren Singer, otherwise known as, "the girl with the jar" (she initially went viral for fitting 8 years of all of the waste she's created in one mason jar). Package Free is an ecosystem of brands on a mission to make the world less trashy.

Here are eight of our favorite everyday swaps:

1. Friendsheep Dryer Balls - Replace traditional dryer sheets with these dryer balls that are made without chemicals and conserve energy. Not only do these also reduce dry time by 20% but they're so cute and come in an assortment of patterns!

Package Free Shop

2. Last Swab - Replacement for single use plastic cotton swabs. Nearly 25.5 billion single use swabs are produced and discarded every year in the U.S., but not this one. It lasts up to 1,000 uses as it's able to be cleaned with soap and water. It also comes in a biodegradable, corn based case so you can use it on the go!

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