A last hurrah?

“Where have you been?” Peter asked. It was the wee hours of Monday morning and he was just getting into bed.

“Los Angeles…I just got back,” I said. “The plane was late.”

“Why were you there?”

“Columnists’ conference, remember? I marked it on the big calendar downstairs.”

“Hm-m,” he muttered and, lights out, he was asleep. So much for a welcome home hurrah.

Leslie had been in charge my four days away. She (and Carolynn, too) can handle Peter, often more easily than I can. She’d been asleep on the couch and went home as soon as I came in.

When Peter came downstairs next morning, I said, “Gooood morning,” as I do every day.

He affected his fake startled look, as he always does, and said, “Oh, hello…I thought you were away.”

“I came back…two o’clock this morning,”

“Where were you?”

“L.A.” I said, pointing to the calendar on the kitchen counter.

“Mm-m, that was a long time ago. I don’t remember.” The previous Thursday was ancient history in Peter’s mind

I didn’t expect him to remember, but still it rankled. “It was one of the most exciting things I’ve ever done,” I said. I wanted to tell him about it, but showed him photos on my phone instead.

“I’m sorry, there’s just nothing in my head anymore.” He sighed and knocked on his forehead with his fist.

“But it doesn’t sound hollow,” I said and we laughed.

I didn’t even try to tell him that I’d won the number two spot in my category. Or that the award came with two hundred dollars or that I sat next to my idol Leonard Pitts at dinner.

IMG_3374When I showed him this photo of Los Angeles’ infamous rush hour traffic, he asked, “Who would want to face that every day?”

“Not me,” I said. “Coming downstairs is as far as I want to travel to go to work.”



Header photo: Mid-night rose.

2016 National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ contest finalist. 

Bragging, right?

At the urging of my friend Kathie, I submitted three posts from this blog to the National Society of Newspaper Columnists Contest, Online Blog, Multimedia Under 100,000 Unique Visitors Category. Whoo, a categorical mouthful!

UnknownIn a May 6 email from Cathy Turney, NSNC Column Contest Chair, she informed me that I was one of three finalists in that category.

My happy dance shook the rafters. There might even be a hairline crack in the foundation. I so wanted to tell Peter about it, babble on and on the way I used to do when some small triumph came my way.

But I can’t, not anymore. I’ve told him about this blog, as well as my other one, “Wherever you go, there you are.” He isn’t the least bit curious. I’ve tried to encourage him to read some posts, but he simply will not. Maybe he cannot. I’m not at all sure he can read very well anymore. He can’t concentrate long enough to remember the plot, and he often  asks me the meaning of words. Typical of Peter, he jokes about it, deliberately mispronouncing a word he doesn’t recognize.

There are days when I think he’d enjoy some of my shorter posts because the blog centers on him. He likes to know he’s noticed, a star in his own galaxy. Yet there are other days, too many lately, when knowing that I write about him would infuriate him. He’d retreat to what I’ve always called his “Mt. Rushmore mode.” Stoney. Silent.

So, except for an email in all caps to Carolynn, Leslie and a few others, I’ve been mum. Until now. Maybe I’ve earned bragging rights.

I wish I could share my excitement with my husband and that he could understand my thrill.

I with I had no reason to write this blog. Dementia really isn’t funny.

Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 5.26.17 PM

“Dementia isn’t funny” NSNC contest entries:
“Magic pills? Wonder drugs? Snake oil?”
“Chips, a food group unto itself”
“It’s the little things.”

Header photo: Peter and I at granddaughter Samtha’s college graduation.

2016 National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ contest finalist.