MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - It was a story we brought you not too long ago about a Midland woman, Mary Wright-McCourt, who began a project of collecting baby dolls which would be delivered to Alzheimer's patients on Mother's Day. Since then, she's collected over 150 baby dolls from the community. She called the project, Angie's Babies.
Angie Clark was diagnosed with Alzheimer's 15 years ago. Sadly, she passed away back in January.
"She was one of my biggest cheerleaders," said Angie's Granddaughter Julie Gray. "I would describe as the quintessential apple pie grandmother."
Julie was her frequent visitor while she was in a nursing home. But for 15 long years, the disease took over her mind.
"My mom and I have been grieving her for 15 years," said Gray. "But we're grieving two different people."
Angie would no longer recognize her own family and no memory of her own name, it seemed as if all hope was lost. Until one day, she was given a baby doll and something changed.
"Instant joy and comfort. She cradled that baby into her arms and didn't let it go," said Gray. "She just turned the baby to her and went pat-a-cake through the entire thing. And after that it was story time. She just smiled and her eyes were twinkling."
With those twinkling eyes, it's as if Angie was remembering a small piece of her life through the doll's eyes.
"It was a peace for me as family member that she was still there," said Gray. "Most of these women in my experience, the last part of their life, they don't remember all of that's gone. But something is stuck in their psyche they remember when they were little girls or when they were becoming mothers themselves."
Now, the baby doll project in her honor is called Angie's Babies. And on a day mothers are celebrated, all the dolls will soon be given to Alzheimer's patients across the Basin.
"I cried, happy tears, sad tears," said Gray. "Because the dolls meant so much to my grandmother and so many of the other residents that are in these facilities. Their families don't come to see them or they have no family in the area, so they're just left alone. This was a way to see through my grandmother what a difference it made for her. So giving these dolls to the other residents gives an extra level of peace and comfort. Too many of the time, they're just simply forgotten."
Because behind every doll, there's memories worth fighting for. And for the ones who have forgotten, love is always remembered.
If you'd like to help donate to Angie's Babies, you can get the baby dolls at stores like Walmart or Target. They run about $10. You drop them off Lisa Copeland Nationwide Insurance offices at both Midland and Odessa. The Odessa office is on 2240 E 52nd St and the Midland office is on 4400 N Big Spring St. You can also make a donation on PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org.