Tonight as I was heading off for my walk, I ran into a lady I haven't seen for a while. I went to school with her son and was a patient of her husband in my long ago school years. So I said hi and she said hi and we continued on with our lives.
But ... as I walked, I found myself thinking how unfair life has been of late to her. Several years ago she waged an epic battle against cancer, a battle that most had given up on her winning. It was a close thing, but she survived, although as a fragile shell of her previous self.
After that harrowing experience, you would hope that she and her husband of more than 50 years might be able to enjoy a few of their sunset years. Just kick back and be able to watch life pass by together. It just isn't to be. Her husband has developed progressively worse Alzheimer's Disease. So she is now devoted to taking care of (and zealously protecting) him.
Even two years ago, he was outside and taking care of the lawn, washing the car, visiting. He drove his wife to her treatments, etc. Now he is confined to the house or he wonders off. Every day there is less of the man, father, and husband that he used to be still present. Every day is closer and closer to the horizon where he will not be able to remain at home. How unfair is that?
It brought forth memories of L's dad journeying through the throes of Alzheimer's Disease. I remember finding him standing in our back yard, puzzled and frustrated by his inability to open the gate. A gate secured by a simple lift latch. And him having owned and operated hardware stores for much of the time I knew him. I remember thinking then how unfair it was to him and his family, even as there was less and less of the man I knew present every day.
And so I felt great sympathy for the lady and her family.