(Source: Spongebob Squarepants Nickelodeon.)
A couple of events happened to me over the weekend that left me a bit emotional.
The first was at a cafe where I was walking to the bathroom and an older woman walking out of the rooms started talking to me. She was telling me something that happened years ago when she was working, as if she was still an employee there. Her relative came over to collect her and revealed to me that she has Alzheimer’s Disease.
The second was at my theatre job. We are currently playing ‘The Leisure Seeker’ starring Dame Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland. The plot consists of an elderly, unwell couple, who take one last road trip together to visit Ernest Hemingway’s house in Key West, Florida. The husband played by Sutherland had Alzheimer’s.
To share something personal, my maternal grandmother suffered from the disease at (what I consider to be) a very young age. She also showed signs of decay earlier in her life, that had also contributed to a toxic family dynamic for my mother. My grandmother died when I was 16 years old.
Life wasn’t easy during my adolescence, and it was difficult not to get frustrated when she couldn’t remember me at all. There were times when it was also dangerous…she pulled a knife on me because she thought I was a stranger breaking into the house. Ultimately, I was sad for her. She was a woman who was super athletic. Popular. Loved to go out dancing (I take after her.)
She lived a full life, with no memory of it when she died.
In the present day I wonder if that is going to be me. Losing all of my mental faculties, not remembering anyone or anything. There are times when I feel like I’m losing my mind now. I have horrible anxiety, depression, I stutter, I forget things, my mind is scattered at times. I’m also independent and I don’t want people to have to babysit me, especially in a weakened state.
Anyway, this was something I wanted to get off of my chest since it has been gnawing at me most of my life.