When Florida State Rep. Scott Plakon’s wife Susie was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s around this time three years ago, the family relied on their deep Christian faith to give them strength. That has continued now that the disease has sadly progressed to a more severe stage, leaving Susie struggling with communication and requiring round-the-clock care. And in this heartbreaking situation, the family has found a way to share Susie’s love for Christmas and bring some holiday cheer to other Central Floridians.
In a Facebook post on Saturday, Scott described how Susie would happily spend weeks every year decorating for Christmas, “with hundreds and hundreds of items collected over many years,” turning their Longwood home into a Christmas showcase that would often be photographed by passersby.
The Orlando Sentinel‘s Kayla O’Brien visited the Plakons to hear about how Susie would start readying her decorations the day after Halloween, putting statues of the Holy Family in the yard, hanging stockings for Scott and their six children, adding lights and hundreds of other festive items of decor all around the house.
Because of her condition, Susie is no longer able to decorate and the family has decided to donate most of their Christmas decorations “as a way of perpetuating her love for Christmas and her Savior.”
Anyone who is interested in receiving some of the Plakons’ Christmas decorations should contact Scott by messaging him on his Facebook page. He is encouraging people to make a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association in Susie’s honor, but it’s not required.
“We’re trying to just do what we can to extend her love for the Christmas season,” Scott told the Sentinel.
Inspired by Susie, Plakon co-sponsored a bill during this year’s legislative session to open an additional memory disorder center operated by Florida Hospital, the 16th such center statewide, as well as establishing an Alzheimer’s awareness week for Florida.
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.