Shift in time

It’s been a great couple of weeks. We decided – after cancelling a trip to Arizona – to spend a couple of weeks bumbling about our old stomping grounds in the Gulf Islands in Peanut. It’s been about 4 years since we sold our sloop Fainleog and I had forgotten how spectacularly gorgeous this part of the world is, especially this early in the season when most nautical yahoos are still at home and anchorages are empty.

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Taking the long way home

It’s funny how we have to learn the same critical life lessons again and again and again. This isn’t a function of aluminum pots or heavy drug use, nor is it a function of subtlety of the lesson or an obtuse personal nature. Something else is at work that makes a person slip up again and again.

Human weakness is undoubtedly a big part of this, as well as social pressure, ego, and the media. But before I carry on with this analysis, I suppose I should describe more clearly what exactly I’m babbling about.

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Dementia

Dementia-1It’s been an emotionally difficult week. Mom has contracted an infection, and it’s severely affected what remains of her cognitive abilities. She has no idea where she is and what’s happening to her. She doesn’t know how to calm herself and so she calls people all the time, even though she can’t really communicate when she gets them on the phone. And when she calls I’ll try to soothe her and then she’ll call back ten minutes later not remembering that she had already called me. Lately she has been making late-night phone calls to family all across the country.

It would be easy enough to take her phone away, but it’s her only connection to anything that makes sense to her anymore – even if she can’t recall the names of the people she’s calling or why. Understandably, she is extremely distraught that things don’t make sense – that she can’t piece together a narrative of her world that makes sense to her. Often times when she calls she is crying.

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