Monday, September 7, 2009

Epitaph II

The card contained my name and the words, “My Epitah”(sic). Waldo-Emerson was written underneath, followed by four lines of poetry. Unfamiliar with Emerson’s work, the beauty of the words still moved me. Evidently, Dad had been moved by them as well, to the extent that he chose them as his epitaph. As he exited the bathroom, I nudged the cupboard shut and took a giant sideways step away from it. Soon after, we left for lunch.
Dad had developed elaborate coping mechanisms to deal with the encroaching dementia; scraps of paper holding obscure reminder notes, and little notebooks full of details about where he went and what he did. All in an attempt to control, in some small way, how his mind was slipping away. Eventually they would become all I had left of him, a record of the world viewed through the kaleidoscope of dementia.

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