Metropolitan Homesick Blues

Southampton Stories & Other Stuff


with 4 comments

In this sweet and sad life things never go the way you want them to. Plans and aspirations often take a road least expected and a change in direction often leads to the unexpected. This is the ying and yang of life – the light and dark – the good and not so good.

You could say these are trite thoughts, more of those interminable clichés so prevalent in today’s social media. But, they are truths so real, so prevalent that their reality can be a drain on your dreams.

Alice probably never thought of her life this way. I imagine she simply wanted to endure her simple existence and survive as best as possible. We found evidence of that in a battered old cream-coloured ‘valise’. (Valise was the word she used for her small suitcase.) Family photos, post cards, trinkets, treasures, legion flags, remnants and reminders of the war sent to her by her husband – all those things she held dear but had now forgotten were in there. The significant signposts of her life we found in a square gun-metal-grey lockbox. She didn’t know where the key was at first but she knew that her important papers and documents were safe and secure even though they were long past any relevance or use to her today. This is where she kept her past – her memories.

They are remnants of a life lived and loved ones lost. Today those moments come and go, each one struggling for a place of prominence in her mind. Recollections of her young life come rushing through intruding unexpectedly, transforming the past into the present and the present into confusion.

Still, this is Alzheimer’s and we must deal with it. It is hard to understand why but as Virginia Wolfe wrote in Mrs. Dalloway, ‘What does the brain matter compared to the heart.’

NormanAliceNorman and Alice

Written by metropolitanhomesickblues

January 8, 2013 at 3:09 PM

4 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. A very touching piece Ed. Alzheimer’s is such a difficult condition. It robs everyone of the person they love and robs the sufferer of so much more. A number of my friends are dealing with it in one or other parent. Maybe it is my time of life that brings this to the fore. My heart goes out to you. Stay strong and take it one day at a time.
    Best regards and a happy new year to you and yours,

    Conor Bofin

    January 8, 2013 at 4:06 PM

    • Thank you Conner for your kind comments. The one thing we are encouraged about is the wonderful long term care facility we were lucky enough to secure. She seems happier now. Be well. Ed

      Read my Blog


      January 8, 2013 at 4:11 PM

  2. A beautifully crafted, sensitive and respectful piece of writing. I watched my mother lose her mind, her identity, and finally her life to the ravages of this horrible disease. More recently a friend of mine has had to learn to deal with a similar fate when his wife succumbed to early onset Alzheimer’s. I passed your story on to him and here is what he said: “Thank you for this very moving piece.” Thank you Ed, and I’ll see you in the spring.


    January 10, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    • Thanks Fred It as a fact of life that we started dealing with in earnest back in April of 2012. So many twists and turns and roadblocks most of which were financial dealing with banks and insurance companies and the government both and English. Since only Norma held Power of Attorney they wouldn’t even talk to me. Get your house in order now. She found new strength through all of this. Tough lady. Until the spring. Take care you two. Ed

      Read my Blog


      January 11, 2013 at 8:03 AM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: