A winter Sunday morning and no need to rise. I stay wrapped in blankets, then, feel beckoned to the computer. I don't hear rain so check the deck. It is wet. We treasure every drop of rain here, so I am grateful to see the moist shine. I had forgotten until the movie Milk that Harvey's election had ended one of our droughts. There was another one later where we kept a bucket in the shower and used the water to flush. Where I live we are dependent on our reservoirs, so we need the rain to fall here in Marin. Last year, the East Bay was rationed because they depend on the snow. We must have rain this year or we will go to strict rationing. Yards will die. Clothes will be worn longer between washings. People who have lived here a long time don't lose the caution and I shudder when I see a running faucet.
Anyway, I came here to talk about Alzheimer's. Steve's older brother has Alzheimer's. It was early onset, which usually means it progresses quickly to death, but there are new drugs, and this has been going on for many, many years. He has been living in a lovely family home where they take in four or five people and care for them. The others are there because they are elderly. The yard is fenced and they are safe. Bob is only 67 and loves to talk so has done well with his ready audience. He is now becoming unable to walk. Other plans need to be made. Steve's sister has been magnificent in handling Bob's care. I feel so sad about this, thinking back over his life and wondering what now comes. The sadness is for him and for myself. Oddly, Bob has seemed happy, unaware. I have read that full awareness comes back as someone dies. My uncle had Alzheimer's and the night before his death was coherent and recognized everyone. It allowed me to believe in something more, in some wholeness of soul, unconnected with the physical function of the brain.
In my book group, the mother of one of the husband's is still alive. She is 94, and in a place for seniors. She and a man there fell in love and wanted marriage. They wanted to live in the same unit. I guess they are of an age where you need to be married to live together but the families did not want the legal complications, so they had a ceremony and the license was not filed. They are happy. I guess all of this brings up the aging process and I woke in a complicated mass of Alzheimer dreams.
We rarely watch TV, but somehow we were captured by the last episodes of Boston Legal. A brilliant lawyer, played by William Shatner, the captain of the Enterprise on Star Trek, all those years ago, has Alzheimer's. They go to the Supreme Court to determine if he can have a drug that may help with the Alzheimer's though it has not been through the drug trials. The obvious answer would be to give him the drug. He is dying anyway, but the counter-argument is also strong. Drugs need to be tested. Pharmaceutical companies are not honest. We need outside, governmental control.
As I listen to the arguments, I remember that Steve's family tried to get Bob into a test group. If he had been selected, he might have been given a new drug or he might have been given a placebo. Maybe he wouldn't have had Aricept that has worked so well for him and given him years.
This is a ramble, which is why I chose the icon of the lovely mix of flowers. This moment is all we can or need to know. The light is coming again today, and in one week, the days will again begin to lengthen. We may be the flower emerging from the soil, the open bloom, the falling leaves, rain, or snow. We are all of these things and the point is to pleasure in the moment's flow.