A thought ... and one I thought I’d share.
A picture on a recent front page showed charred sticks of trees and foundations in rubble from the Gatlinburg, Tenn., fires. Other shots show sentinel chimneys with nothing to over watch.
Great compassion is evoked from those who have “lost everything”:
“The only thing we could save was an armful of pictures as we escaped.”
“At least we will still have the memories.”
“If we were to rebuild it would just be a box, not a home.”
How very tragic. We can all sympathize with the devastation experienced so rapidly.
The parallel I couldn’t escape was with Alzheimer’s disease. The losses are inexorable and protracted over many years, a single spark or synapse at time. Its fire starts to take the meaningful contents of a life, and what eventually remains is like the box. The beloved chimney stares blankly at some far horizon. The pictures are gone but so are all the memories. There is no way to rebuild. At times we wonder if a great wind will be sent, indeed welcomed. The smoke seems to linger indefinitely.
Charles P. Duvall
Hilton Head Island