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  • Writer's pictureLickety Glitz

It is a beautiful afternoon.

Updated: Oct 22, 2020

Sun floods the front room. The daffodils in the flower beds bob their yellow heads in time with Nature's breaths. The trees outside, bereft of their plumage for months, shimmer with color: green buds, white and pink blossoms, all gently pulsating with new life, readying itself for the burst of spring.

It is a beautiful afternoon.

I stare at her. With my hands propping up my head I watch her from across the table. She slowly picks at her lunch, taking small bites for sustenance while equally savoring the texture of the sandwich squishing between her fingers. She picks up the empty plate that held the sandwich. She tries to drink from it like a soup bowl. There is no confusion in her face when the tipped plate fails to yield nourishment. This act of "slurping" seems to exist solely as a muscle memory. A thing she has done before. A thing she remembered to do again.

As my eyes soak in the beauty of her face I wonder, "Will we become a coronavirus household? Will Mom be dead soon? Next week? Next month? If she could achieve cognition for a moment would she tell me that would be preferable to her dementia fate?" I suspect the answer is "Yes."

I continue to stare, now with renewed vigor to sear the impression of her in my brain, as if she is going to be snatched from me immediately, as if that is not something I wish for daily. Her eyes slowly wander to mine, blankly match my gaze for several seconds, then a flicker of smile plays across her features before the vacancy returns, sweeps over her face, empties her eyes.

"What if I die?" I think. "What will The Other Girl do? Will she be able to handle it? Will she want to? Will MotherMinder stay involved? Will Mom notice I'm gone? Miss me?"

Dementia households live with sorrow daily, yet the heightened doom of these days overtakes me. My thoughts plunge into darkness.

Maybe soon Mom, myself, The Other Girl's lives will be a statistic, just another number reported on the news in the coming weeks, like those extinguished lives in China, Italy, Iran are just another number reported on the news now.

I feel despair, not just for myself and those I love in my tiny universe, but for my species. For our short-sightedness that has allowed this pandemic to explode, adding far-reaching catastrophe to lives already downtrodden.

All the hand washing in the world won't wash away humanity's most unrelenting plague: since the beginning of our existence the greedy, the power hungry have manipulated the fearful, the ignorant, to the detriment of us all.

Outside the window my eyes no longer register the beauty of an encroaching spring, but instead see clearly this sickness that has stained our collective past, it's poison spreading across our future.

It is a terrible afternoon.

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