Lights out.

Over the years since his dementia diagnosis, my husband has invented ways to control anything he can in his increasingly hazy life. I’ve written about his stacks of coins, never-ending twig collecting, his sweeping, folding, smoothing, polishing, wiping.

I. Want. To. Scream! And sometimes I do. Having said that, I’m sure he wants to scream too.

His latest attempt at control is not only baffling, it’s downright dangerous. I discovered it several weeks ago when I went down to the basement, a dungeon I try to avoid. Dark at mid-day, the windows are grimy and any light coming in is grayed.

I flipped the two switches several times. Nothing. I scrabbled around and finally discovered Peter had removed the bulbs from the six overhead fixtures. I don’t know why and I didn’t ask because I’m sure he wouldn’t have known either.

I put new LED bulbs in all the sockets. He took them out. I talked to him about the danger of going down the steps and walking around in the dark.

I put the bulbs in again. He took them out again.

Our basement is not a finished space. Hazards lurk — bicycles, tools, piles of newspapers and magazines, chairs, tables, workbenches. I thought I’d solved the problem with my little chat about dangers in the dark.

Today I realized I hadn’t. The bulbs were gone again. Why did I think he’d remember?

Laughs, I’m looking for laughs, but it’s dark in here. A bigger bulb maybe?

2016 National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ contest finalist. 



7 thoughts on “Lights out.

    • The first time I tried to use the ‘torch’ feature on my smart phone, but it out smarted me again. I couldn’t figure it out in the dark. That’s a laugh, isn’t it? 😉

  1. There has got to be some sort of device that screws into the lightbulb socket that prevents the bulbs from being removed….something that not even an engineer can figure out! 🙂

  2. Jerry believes he does this because he can’t find light switches, which happened a couple of times when we were there. Guess this means he might spend less time there and more upstairs time with you❤️

    • Peter has two issues with lights. One is that he can’t remember which one does what on when there are multiple switches (kitchen ceiling, kitchen table, outdoor spotlight) and the other is even remember where the switch is. Wattever the problem he has problems. ;-(

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