Foreward

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…

Purpose

While discovering Auntie Jaquey, I simultaneously groped around in the dark for a few days until I found the boundaries Aunt Gene had set.  Like finding little land mines, the things for which she refused help were planted to sabotage anyone assuming her caregiving role.  Although she enjoyed the freedom our visit provided her, complete…

Fixer Upper

The boys and I were forced ourselves past the façade of Auntie’s independent senior living and into a routine that would deem us useful during our month long visit. Although Auntie’s role was that of cook in the St. Louis household, she never fixed a meal or washed a dish for herself or Jaque the…

Choices

During the following week I went through closets and miscellaneous stuff that through the years had collected on the attic floor. Aunt Genevieve saw me working single mindedly, carrying things down the two flights of stairs and toward the back door. There were mini blinds, sticky, greying lampshades, and paper flowers choked with ancient grime…

THE Call

My mother and I were on the plane headed for St. Louis just about a week after I’d left. It had been a long while since we’d been in such close proximity and for five hours no less. She, no doubt, had belabored this too because she had scent layers to signify she’d proverbially bottled…

Bad Medicine

The week Genevieve was in the hospital, Jaqueline was taken in by April and her niece. April called me early on and to say that our appreciation for their generous act should be in the form of a monetary thank you to her niece—her words were much simpler though. I should not have been surprised…

Security Breach

My daily routine started by stepping gingerly in the area where she was confined the night before. A baby-gate had served as a sufficient deterrent. Keeping her confined to a small room and adjacent bathroom area. One night as I slept – as usual I open my eyes for a brief moment and am reassured…