Six Short Works by Joyce Rushing “Dancing With Dementia”
His body is bent and stooped.
His face is frozen.
He pushes a walker with shaky legs on his good days.
He has tremors of his hands and mouth — making it hard to eat and talk.
He needs help getting in & out of bed and dressing.
His strength is gone. He sleeps most of the day away.
He has benign hallucinations and illusions.
He is still loving.
He is still brave.
He is still protective.
His heart is strong.
His spirit is stronger.
He is still my man.
The Mister, The Sister, and The Possum
“I’m gonna kill that possum on the porch, bring me my gun,” said the mister.
“With all that shaking, you can’t never ever hit him,” replies the sister.
“He’s eating all the cat food, bring me my shotgun,” he pleads.
I hand it over knowing full well he won’t never succeed. We creep out the back door and go around the front.
The possum goes the other way.
We are on the hunt!
I circle round bringing the critter right in front of him.
I’ll be durned if he didn’t hit and kill it.
A rare smile spreads across his Parkinson’s face and head.
“I still got it Babe…..lets go to Bed!”
Dancing with Dementia
His eyes are closed as he sits leaned back in his chair.
He looks like he’s just sleeping…. but he’s not.
He’s thinking about multiple detailed strategies.
His brain is a complex organic wonder..
As neurons stop firing, lewy bodies, plaques and tangles clog the way.
Certain memories will linger, some will disappear….
My dear one can’t remember when and what pill to take, what day it is.
He pays no attention to world affairs or everyday ordinary things.
But, old, loved and cherished things seem to remain for a while.
He is a diehard Atlanta Braves Fan.
He can’t hunt. He can’t fish. But he stays in the game of life by coaching the Braves.
Time means nothing to him but he can count the days until the season starts.
He is Coach Jerry’s most trusted adviser. Who to bring up from triple A.
Who to trade for.
We need some new home run hitters this year. Yes, Gattis for an injured
McCann. Chris Johnson, Schafer, Pastornicky. Yes Jerry, good choices.
The pitchers are excellent and he will advise when to use a lefty, when to pull one for the bull pen.
Even the lineup for certain pitchers is within his expertise.
So, I let him sleep. For he is working; And dreaming of his first love and purpose.
To win the Pennant!
She was a saint. A pillar of the community. A godly virtuous woman who prayed unceasingly for her husband. It was her biblical duty as a submissive wife to help him find salvation. He was a drunk. He didn’t beat her much, but, spent nearly all of his wages as a house painter on beer, honky tonks, and cigarettes. As a good christian southern woman she supplemented his income by taking in sewing for the public.She also waited on him hand and foot as befitting a good wife. Always mindful of the sacrificial example she set.
She raised two boys and two girls who escaped her tidy home just as soon as they graduated high school. The girls were tired of him crawling into their beds at night when he was drunk. The boys couldn’t stand the sight and smell of him. They couldn’t understand her not leaving him. Pretending to the outside world they were a decent normal family.
She took on his eternal destiny as her destiny. Her purpose in life, her burden to bear. She was always in church, always doing good.. Her purpose was all consuming.
But he was digustingly descending into the pit of Hell. She prayed in her rocking chair at night for the Holy Spirit to thump his gourd and turn him around. But, it was to no avail.
Late last night she prayed through for she heard a strange commanding voice say “NO MORE.”And “ENOUGH.”
She was so startled her heart stopped and she died.
The unrepentant came crawling home late and found her body cold in her chair. His heart broke as he cried gut wrenching tears of repenance. And he died.
Her grave reads, ”Here lies a sacrificial noble woman.”
His grave reads, “Saved at last.”
Dancing with Dementia #2
He shuffles down the hall following me as I do my chores.
“Don’t make no supper.” he says.
“Why not?” I replied.
“Been talking to my Maker and He’s coming to get me today.”
“Oh, that’s nice dear.”
“He’s coming for you too,” he added excitedly.
“We will be together, like always.”
“But I’m not ready to go yet dear, I’ve made other plans.”