Getting Old No Matter What

olderAt first, I thought my neighbors were just having a good time . . . . . all the time. Early in the morning, late at night, in the middle of the day, “Aaaaah” said over and over again in very provocative and now annoying fashion. It has been over a year since this started. Sometimes, I hear nothing. Sometimes, it’s obnoxiously a good time. Sometimes, I’m afraid to know what’s going on. How many times do they do it a day? Do they have jobs? Do I need to get another job – one that does not have me sitting at home translating documents or editing this upcoming book while listening to my neighbors live a life of daily, sexual revelry?

But, no. She has Alzheimer’s is what I found out and Alzheimer’s makes you whale and scream, throw out words and sounds in a repetitive yet unpredictable manner, and it can be a reflection of any kind of ailment or damage to the brain that the person with Alzheimer’s cannot otherwise express.

How must the husband feel? He must think that she is doing it on purpose, that she is trying to make him crazy. It’s making me crazy and I don’t even live with her. I can get up and leave. He can’t. He has to take care of her. What thoughts go through his head as his wife, who is obviously now experiencing much worse mental distress than him, is making him feel like he is the one coming down with Alzheimer’s?

I can’t imagine, don’t want to imagine, and now I no longer want to grow old. If Alzheimer’s is what awaits me, then I’m very afraid. However, some people grow old and never have to suffer through Alzheimer’s or any other critical disease. They simply carry out their life until their heart stops one day.

We often look at age as something that also defines us but, evidently age comes at each of us differently. That being the case, I will have to work hard to never let age define me, never let others define who I must be or what I must know because of any gray hairs that sprout up on my head. Why can’t you always be a child of wonder, wanting to learn, wanting to experience new things, wanting to stay in love, or even fall in love again? There are so many more experiences in life than any one full life can hold. Why would you stop growing no matter how old you get?

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