The optimist: I see Alzheimer’s has lifted any weight she bore in this life. She is unfettered and living life in the here and now. There is no past, no future worries on her mind–after all, worry is fretting over what might be. The woman once propelled by a bit of useful OCD, kept a lovely, impeccably neat home; but she is now free of that. She’s free of extra hours spent primping with hair and make-up; taking care to uphold the classic, ivy-league style that was her brand. I accept whatever goodness lies in this Alzheimer’s experience I share with her. It’s touched us all. She’s taught me to relinquish control and age with abandon. When the time comes, cooperatively submit yourself to the care of others. Most of all live in the moment; let God’s will be done.
The pessimist: I cower watching Alzheimer’s, slowly devour her. Fearful partly because I know that this horrible monster lurks trapped within our genes; partly because as a predator it has not yet culled my thoughts from where they reside. I’m ever mindful of its shadow…it looms over me…a trapped mouse. Through these small, black eyes, behind these close-knit bars, I witness her in its grasp. She’s completely isolated in her demise as it sears off the last bit of fluffy, grey matter floating beneath the grey whisps left covering her head. Perhaps she doesn’t know that she is gone.
The pragmatist: I resolve not to live in fear, brace myself for what might come, and I write about what will be simply forgotten.