Dear Gentle Readers,
Six weeks have passed since I last blogged. In that time I have been to the Bahamas, been to see Beau, moved into a new house—-and, most significantly, found space in my head NOT to think about Alzheimer’s disease.
For years, long before my father went to Juniper Memory Care, Alzheimer’s weighed on my mind. It may have always been circulating my circuits, in fact, because it was always frontal lobe and center for my dad.
When I visited Beau recently, he said something out of the blue—completely without context and utterly surprising—which felt like a message from his brain to mine. It was as if he “knew,” despite the tangle of plaque and tau that has nearly rendered him speechless, exactly what I needed to hear.
I walked into the living area of his cottage, where Beau had just finished watching a nature show. He smiled big at me. I pulled a chair up next to him, and he kept on smiling. A strange twinkle came into his eye. He giggled a bit and said, “Funny how things turn out.” And then he giggled more and so did I.
All the worry–his in the past; mine revving up for the future–collapsed into humor and grace. I left that day with what felt like “permission” from him to think about other things, like a life without Alzheimer’s occupying every fiber of my being and rendering me useless even though it’s not me with the disease.
I plan to keep writing about AD, but from a different perspective. Not entirely sure yet what I will say. But that’s the beauty of life. And I plan to enjoy every turn in mine.