READING AND SELF-REVELATION
I recently finished reading a beautifully honest book, On Pluto Inside the Mind of Alzheimer’s by Greg O’Brien. (HIGHLY recommend it). I learned what the author experiences as the disease has taken hold of him and progressed. I came away with a better understanding of Alzheimer’s and greater compassion for sufferers (including patients and the loved ones that suffer with them).
I am grateful to Mr. O’Brien for sharing his honest struggle. His bravery pierced my cowardice. I am in awe of his willingness to remain in life, in relationships even when he lost recognition of who he was relating with. I recognized that where he persevered relationally, I would likely withdraw and it would be to my detriment.
So, what do I do? I act. I spend more time people. This is hard work for a serious introvert (honestly more like “isolationist”).
My husband and I spent a wonderful afternoon and evening with his parents. We also had an awesome dinner with my daughter Katy and her boyfriend. I had coffee with a friend. I began a new job with a literacy center and have the privilege of working with children, their tutors and parents. I won’t go into why this is so difficult for me, but I will ask my dear friends and family to hold me accountable to be in life with them and stay there.
The statistics on Alzheimer’s do not bode well for any of us as we age. Building connection, community and relationship before it hits will serve to help us remain connected and give us the tribe we need to support one another, whether we are inside or outside the mind of Alzheimer’s.