We are non-commercial, all volunteer and supported by our readers. Please help sustain the Dew by making a donation.
Last week I attended an initiation to a secret club. The admission criteria are tough. One does not choose admission but still must pass a rigorous selection process. No one asks to get in this club and no invitations are issued. If you meet the qualifications you are in. Forever.
The club membership consists of those of us who have watched, waited, cried, cursed, promised, loved, and hated a parent who suffers from Alzheimer’s. If your parents have passed away from other causes you probably did not have years in which they no longer knew you. You also probably did not visit for years and years and just stare into their eyes. Always hoping, hoping, hoping for a glimmer of recognition that is no longer and never more to be found. You might have wondered (as all club members have) how long, how long can this possibly go on?
Those of us in the club have also wondered about ourselves. How did we become someone who can accept a horrible new reality in which our parent slowly fades away? It is like a giant eraser is slowing moving back and forth over your loved one as they become fainter and fainter. And we increasingly wonder about our own future. Is Alzheimer’s perking away in our own brains just waiting to bring our children into the club?
In this club the membership is prone to drink, curse and pray, sometimes all at once.
In this club we examine the past over and over, looking for clues we missed or ignored or pretended to ignore. We look endlessly into their face for a sign of the person we knew and loved. Always asking, are you still in there?
In this club we all suffer from guilt over conversations not had, time not shared, consolation not given, patience worn thin as a razor, and anger over the entire damn mess.
In this club we love and hate old photographs. You know the ones where they are young, happy and hopeful? These photos will stab your heart.
The recent initiation was another large, loving family. Our membership grows by leaps and bounds. They sent their once glamorous, talented, intelligent mother off with loving words and praise. She would have been proud of them all that day.
Welcome to the club dear friends.
- Image: Licensed by LikeTheDew.com at iStock.com.
Worthy of Comment
Also on the Dew
Write what you know. Has anyone ever given you that advice? I have spent some time thinking this over and wondering, just what did Madeleine L’Engle know about time travel? And what in the world provoked Ray Bradbury and that creepy carousel? So heck with the old chestnut “write what you know.” Today I am writing about what I don’t know. I don’t know why people take to the couch or bed. Call me insensitive but no matter how down in the black books I get, a quick walk or a punishing hike seems to straighten my world out. Get off your ass Read on →
There may be treasures in your attic or in some seldom-visited closet. You can never tell. We stumbled upon quite a treasure the other day, something we did not know was there. It was a large-format book, in a box of textbooks and other literature, probably from one of our children. Going through this box to help re-stock our Little Free Library, here was this older book with 86 stunning black-and-white photographs. The book was titled Say Is This The U.S.A. and the authors were Novelist Erskine Caldwell (born in Moreland, Ga.) and Margaret Bourke-White, the famous photographer. My initial question was why Read on →
Who would have thought that years in corporate America would be the business background of a newly-published Gwinnett author? Michael Brown, a Loganville, Ga resident, has now had two books published. We read his Somewhere a River, a 268 page novel from Deeds Publishing of Atlanta, and found it most enthralling. It is set in Alabama, the story turning around growing up in the South, high school and college football, and the entanglements we can get ourselves in both when younger and afterward. Later parts of the story take place in a different setting… Wyoming, of all places, as a struggling S Read on →
To begin with, we're not talking about that super-smart cartoon dog who had a pet boy, though someone named Sherman does figure prominently in the topic at hand. We’re talking about the other Mr. Peabody, George Foster, namesake of the media awards that the University of Georgia has been handing out since 1941. Submissions to the Peabody competition over the decades have piled up to embody a remarkable collection, some 90,000 kinescopes, 16 mm films, tapes and DVDs, all now stored in a huge, climate controlled grotto beneath the Richard B. Russell Special Collections Library on the UGA campus. For the past year, the Read on →