Welcome. Normally I run for fun, but this will be my first race that I'm running for a cause. And that cause is in memory of my grandmother and how she showed me that true love exists. Well her and the movie the Princess Bride.

Different types of love. And why I’m running in the memory of my grandmother. There are different levels of love. I love mozzarella sticks. I love runner's high. I was in love. Love from your family. Love from your friends. Like I said, levels. I used to be a bit cynical and didn’t like the idea of love. Then my grandmother’s dementia started getting worse. Sadly it is because of that that I know that love exists. You don’t truly love someone until you have to clean up their poop. It’s gross, but true. It was a very sobering moment for me the first time I helped my mom clean up my grandmother after she soiled her adult diaper. Part of my mind broke that day. I could not comprehend how someone would poop themselves, and not by accident. I didn’t understand how my sweet, caring grandmother did not have control of her mind anymore to the point where she didn’t care to get out of bed and go to the bathroom. She was certainly physically capable. But she chose not to. That’s how powerful dementia is. People don’t like to talk about mental issues and from my perspective/opinion I think I understand why. The mind is an extremely powerful thing. It is capable of both great and horrifying things. I think we’d all agree though that everyone should go to a bathroom when they have to poop. And yet my grandmother did not. I could not comprehend that. There were other issues with dementia, of course, but that’s the part that stuck to me. How could a person’s brain malfunction so badly to the point where they pooped themselves. Listen. Sometimes pooping yourself happens. Yes it's gross. Its best not to dwell on it but we can all admit accidents have happened. Many times has humankind been betrayed by a fart. But when your mind stops working to the point where you no longer care about going to the bathroom, something has gone terribly wrong.

So back to the point. That is how I know that love exists. I would not change anybody’s diaper. Much respect to the care workers who do help complete strangers whose bodies are still alive but mentally are no longer with us. I loved my grandmother. It saddens me deeply as she lost her mind over the years. She became a completely different person. Unfortunately, most of my good memories of my grandmother are only because of pictures, because I’m too young to remember. My sister and cousin shared a story of how my grandmother made the best omelets. She would make them with onion, cheese and tomatoes. She would even make them for Luis, my cousin’s friend who grew up in the same neighborhood as my cousin and spent many weekends hanging out and developing a lifelong friendship. That’s part of the reason why I love taking pictures so much and sharing them. I saw a post that really resonated with me, it said, “if you don’t think photos are important, wait until they are all that you have left.” I’m really glad my parents took a bunch of pictures of me with my grandmother. Otherwise most of my memories of my grandmother would be the bad ones. Cleaning up an adult diaper is not fun. I only did it because I truly loved my grandmother. I loved who she was, she was kind, she was caring. I did not love what dementia turned her into. That’s why I’m running the NYC half for CaringKindNYC. This particular cause is very personal and important to me. So I’m asking for help. Any donation, no matter the amount is truly appreciated. The generosity and support of my friends and family truly astounds me. I am sobbing as I am typing this. Thanks for reading


Riyaz aka RZA Kapdi


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