A Gracious Goodbye...to Sanity?

by Jill Francis on March 9th, 2017

I had breakfast plans with a wonderful friend of mine this morning at 9:00.  At 10:30, after going to three IHOPS, sending texts and making calls, I finally called her home number.  Thank goodness she still had a land line.  Her husband told me she had left her cell phone at home, but he thought she was going to the Silver Diner.  The light in my brain turned on and I suddenly remembered where I was supposed to be.  “Silver Diner” was even in print, in the text she sent a week ago, and yet my brain saw “IHOP”.

As I began to drive to the correct location, and as I attempted to contain my hysteria, I called my brother…who thought the entire ordeal was hilarious and who laughed in my face…even though he understands my panic.  As “Alzheimer’s children”, we have heard the statistics and we know what our chances are for acquiring the disease.  We are afraid we will one day lose our minds.  This fear of the illness lies dormant within us until mornings like mine.  Then it raises its ugly head and whispers, “see, it’s already begun…your mind is failing…you are forgetting”. 

Those whispers are heard by many around the world, for anyone caring for an Alzheimer’s patient is afraid they are next.  The whispers are also heard by caregivers of other dementia patients and caregivers of patients with other genetic illnesses.  We are not alone in hearing the whispers of Fear, therefore we do not have to succumb to it.  We also have choices:  we can advocate, in little and big ways; we can talk and share and educate; we can help someone else who is struggling; we can live each day to the fullest and make our corner of the world a little brighter for having been here; the list goes on.

Or…we can simply call someone who we know will laugh with (at) us and allow the laughter to quiet the fear.  That’s what I did.  But I am also going to update my Living Will to have an “in case of insanity” provision.  I may even add my husband to my Google calendar…so at least one of us will know where I’m supposed to be…

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