† ... the journal

The Guest
Refrigerator Door

The next magnets belong to the fridge of my friend Olivia

* Discussion *

What are your prejudices?

Talk about it here.

Read the forum that was banned by one reader's office computer because it has "sexual content." I must be having more fun than I thought!


The Hammer of Eden
Ken Follett

(I bought this in the Houston airport!)


(stage show)

Pictures from the Cincinnati are now up at Steve's Club Photo page. Our visit with my goddaughter is on MY Club Photo page (called "Lyke Visit").

That's it for today!


24 July 2001

I had a senior moment last night. It was just as Iíd gotten all cozy under my blanket and was preparing to doze off, when I realized Iíd forgotten to write any jounal entry. I thought about getting up and doing it then, but there was something just so comfy about snuggling down under the blanket and being ready to sleep that I decided it could wait for morning.

We all have senior moments, like those times when you walk in a room and canít remember why youíve come in, or the times when a word you know you know very well just isnít there when you go searching for it. I describe it as hitting a smooth part on the grooved area of your brain.

Sometimes I think itís just a condition of your brain being like a hard drive that gets filled up. All the old files are still there, easily accessible, but the new ones canít quite fit in because youíre trying to add gigabytes of information to a megabyte kinda brain.

Itís scary, though, when you know there is Alzheimers in the family. Each senior moment is a reminder. "Is this a symptom?" "Am I going to develop it?"

Last night we met my cousin at the theatre and chatted a bit before going in. Her motherís Alzheimers is progressing and itís a sad thing to see. This once bright, funny lady gets more confused by the day and that store of knowledge she always had is just slipping away.

My cousin told me that she called her mother the other day. Our other cousin was there visiting, as she often is. She and our aunt are quite close. When the daughter phoned, the mother answered and couldnít remember the cousinís name. After fumbling for awhile, she said, in frustrating, "Oh you know--Bobís wife."

She was recently visiting my mother and didnít know where she was or why she was there. She remembered my mother but didnít know what she was doing there either.

These two sisters have been so close throughout their lives--they are #7 and #10 in a family of 10, and now the last two survivors. I canít imagine the sadness of first burying 7 of your siblings and then watching the last remaining one--your baby sister--fading away mentally.

She questions why she was the one in the family to be afflicted, forgetting that most of the family members didnít live this long (sheís 78). The others died of lung-related cancers before they had time to develop Alzheimers symptoms.

Our grandmother may have had it, however. Alzheimers wasnít a recognized condition at that time, and Iím sure the overall category of "dementia" was applied to her. My grandmother was a sweet woman who gave wonderful hugs and who, my mother recalls, never uttered a swear word in her life.

But she was kicked out of a nursing home for going down the hall and knocking the other patients down and swearing like a sailor. She ended her life at Napa State Hospital. My mother recalls going to see her and having her mother speak in gibberish, and then fade back into herself as she realized that her daughter wasnít understanding a word that she was saying.

When I look at my aunt these days, I remember the Joanne Woodward movie, Do You Remember Love? where she so effectively played a woman in the early stages of Alzheimers. At one point she wrote a speech, which her husband had to read, since she was by that time unable to read it herself. In the speech, she said that she would have two deaths, but that she would not be around for the second one.

My aunt is going through her first death right now. The death of that keen mind, the sharp wit. The light is going out of her eyes. Her body is doing all right and who knows how many years of actual physical life she has left.

However many it is, it is more than her brain has, and that is so very sad.

One Year Ago:

Some pictures from this journal
can be found at
Club Photo

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Created 7/24/01 by Bev Sykes