Richard stands about 6’4” with hair that is graying and thinning. He is thin and sturdy looking, his face is more hard than lined, his muscles still looking strong. I’d peg him closer to sixty than his actual 72 years.
“I lost my cell phone. Earlier this week I found some money, forty dollars, fifty dollars, floating. I don’t know how they got there. Maybe I fell asleep. I don’t know what’s happening. It’s just pieces…pieces of time.”We stop in our tracks. It could be us in our winter years. My dad went from being an angry man to an angry man with Alzheimer’s. The fits were brief in the beginning. Understanding and comprehension were there most of the time. That made it confusing. Then the illogical would occur. The stomping of feet during my daughters’ ballet performance because he didn’t like the way someone looked. Then there were the outbursts at home the repeating sentences and the fugue states. That’s my gene pool.
What makes me good at what I do is that I remember. In my job I remember names, drinks, family stories and unique tid-bits. I know my customers and they appreciate it. When I’m writing I recall things I read five years ago. I piece together songs, events and ideas into one whole. So when I have those instances where I forget a name or that I met you previously at church my breath catches. I think, “Oh, no, this is how it begins.”
I know there will come a day when the pieces of time slip from my mind. It’s part of the process of dying. We wind down until we are unwound completely. I have no answer. I just know what I want and what I don’t want. What I want, in the end, is to accept all my days with grace and joy and to have my ears work well enough to hear, “Well done my gracious servant. Enter into your rest.”