The world, according to my social media timeline, is on the brink of The End of Days, politically, socially — hell, even the Girl Scouts announced a partnership with a cereal company to produce a thin mint flavored breakfast flakes. The Mayan’s were right, they just missed the date by a year or so.
There is a lot of hang-wringing and whoa is me stuff going on out there. And that’s fine, for you — if that’s your coping mechanism, so be it. I got a dose of reality this week that made me come to terms with what’s really important in my life.
Sure, I’ve got issues and problems like everyone else.
But nothing compared to others. In the middle of one of the therapy dogs visits to a memory care center, a woman suddenly looked concerned. If you’ve known someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s, then you know what a cruel disease this is, when your mind goes on permanent holiday from reality. Those who suffer from the disease become shells of their former selves, and family members often, as I have seen, turn their back on them, because it’s too difficult for them to face.
The old woman in the memory care facility started shuffling around in her walker and was holding one arm as if she tried to cover herself. Then I heard her — and it breaks your heart. “Am I wearing clothes?”
“Yes, sweetheart, you are.” And then she was fine. But my God, what a mental space to live in when you can’t connect to those basic life functions. One of the up-sides of this cruel punishment for living too long, is that the episodes don’t last long. But they will re-occur…
So, I got a reminder of how lucky I am to have my wits about me for another year. 2016 may have been a dumpster fire, but in the scheme of things, at least I can recognize it for what it is.