DESCENT INTO EMPTINESS
Their kids were grown and on their own. Living in an empty nest. A time to reminisce, to rest, be thankful they had been so blessed. Time to recapture romance they knew when they were young, dedicated to making dreams come true.
Ever so slowly it began. He forgot where he'd parked the van. Misplaced his wallet, lost his keys. Lost track of realities. '"Got to call my mom," he'd say. Forgot she'd passed away. Talked in his sleep, some times he'd weep. Joked about it when he awoke.
His dad died when he was four. Got lost on his way to his house next-door. Kissed his wife and son goodbye. Bought a gun. blew out his brains. Insanity in the family? "Could it happen to me?" he asked himself inwardly.
First fleeting signs of senility. Loss of his mobility. Uncertainty, hesitancy. Slowly his lights burned out. Life did a turnabout. Memory faded, then fled, Left a vacancy in his head. Alzheimer's took up permanent residency.
It happened when the kids were grown, on their own. He and his wife together, alone. Looked forward to a future heaven and new life in retirement. The empty nest. A time to rest, to reminisce. Recapture, rapture, romance they knew when young, working hard to make dreams come true.
Their eyes were always filled with love. Hers did still and, yes, sadness too. He stared at her with eyes that saw, but did not recognize. The smile on his face replaced by: "Who am I?" He listened, waited for her reply. "You are my love," she said and held his hand. He nodded. But did he understand?