Saturday, April 2, 2011

HAWMC #2 - Word of the Day

This is my HAWMC entry for today.  The instructions included looking in a dictionary, then linking that word to the health condition you write about.  The word I opened to was

ASTRAY... a story 

You opened your eyes this morning to find yourself in a strange place you've never seen before.  The room was silent, but you could hear voices of people in a room close by.  You listened carefully, trying to decide if you might know any of the voices you hear laughing.


You were startled as you noticed the bed you were in is that of a stranger.  There were photos and clothes on a chair, and a lamp that obviously belongs to someone who likes shiny modern furniture.   You momentarily thought to yourself  "Eww. Not my style."

The light was turned off, so you decided to stick your head out the doorway to see where the voices were coming from.  You were afraid and wanted to go home.  You saw the people talking animatedly while watching the television - a show you've never seen before.  These people frightened you and you thought to yourself, "I'm lost.  I don't know what happened last night, but I need to get home and fast."  But how?  "Maybe I can sneak my way out and they'll never notice I was here."

Carefully you opened the door.   Quietly so no one would hear, you walked to the front door across the hallway and turned the nob.  It was very cold outside.  The wind was blowing, but you saw the house across the street and wondered if the family there might be able to help you find your way home.  Maybe if you just tell them you got lost they will drive you there.

As you walked across the frozen street, the house across the road seemed vaguely familiar.  You dug into the recesses of your brain trying to figure out who might live there.  You rang the doorbell and a child answered the door.  It was your son!  You embraced him, crying out his name with tears that rolled down your cheeks in relief.  

Your brain felt foggy, but you surmised you must have gotten lost while trying to find him in the house, so you take his hand and tell him its time to go home.  You're cold and he needs to get to the school bus before it's too late.  He pulled out of your grasp and you quietly scold him for making you stand outside in the cold.  You tell him "We need to get home - let's go!"

The  people from the house across the road came out and tried to take your hand from your little boy's arm.  Other people from inside this house began to yell loudly, grabbed your son and tried to pull him into their house.  You were terrified because they are stronger than you and you panicked.  Screaming for your little boy, you watch as they scoop him up and he disappears behind the large wooden door, crying.  You pounded on the door, calling for him, cursing at those who have ripped him from your arms and hidden him behind the locked door.  You can hear him screaming, so you knew they were holding him against his will.

The strangers from the house across the road had their arms all around you, forcing you back to the bedroom with the ugly shiny lamp.  Your maternal instinct had kicked in and you panicked because it was clear they wanted to take you away and hurt you.  Your baby needs you.  You cried because you just wanted to get your son and go home.  In the struggle you notice you were standing in the ice wearing nothing but underwear, and were horrified. They had taken your clothes!


Alzheimer's Disease is the great pretender.  It takes the memories in your brain and twists them.  It lies to you.  Misleads you.  Tricks you.  It steals from you and those you love.  It loves to lead its victims astray. Its goal:  to take your life from you.

Alzheimer's Disease is misunderstood.  It does not steal away the person you are.  It hides the person you are.  Your sense of self is completely intact, which is why you miss the stolen memories.  Why you crave connection with another human being even though you can no longer speak or communicate with them.

Alzheimer's Disease strips away all the unimportant things of life and reveals the basic things that make us human... our need for love and physical contact.  Our brains become like that of a baby.  Our cells instinctively remember the feeling of touch.  They remember what it was like to be an infant who needs its mother.

Our memories are still there.  They too have been led astray by this disease....

We just can't find them...

Thank you Michael Verde and Naomi Feil of Memory Bridge for inspiring this HAWMC post today.  You are being heard and are changing lives you never knew you touched.

Comment by Alicia C. Staley on April 2, 2011 at 11:57pm
Amazing!!! This was eye opening. Great work with the day 2 prompt!
Comment by Katk on April 7, 2011 at 3:07pm
Thanks Ellen for this post!!!
Comment by mo on May 6, 2011 at 12:10am
WOW.  great post.

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