Saturday, December 6, 2014

LIVING WITH FRAYED EDGES

I once refused to accept papers with frayed edges.  Papers with the fringe along the perforated edge were unacceptable, uncollected. Many English students stared in frustration as I handed papers back to be scissor cut smooth. These messy, perforated edges stuck out and awkwardly clung to other pieces of paper,  not making for a simply stacked, precisely packed, carefully clipped collection of papers.

Living with loved ones with Alzheimers is a journey of learning to live with these  unexpectedly torn edges, the edges that frustratingly force us to shock stop and search to restack hopes in a new package, acceptable shape.  Getting the dreams collected with the Alzheimers fray seems impossible when the fringe hangs loosely, clinging to every moment. Each change of the Alzheimers fringe leaves hearts torn open.  This Alzheimers perforated life is a series of holes punched and bored through dreams, separating our mind from our heart.  Every day it's a new sucker punched hole  to a perforated heart.

Today, I  don't try to smooth the hanging fringe but pray for moments to learn to accept the fray when it feels like torture, when lives don't edge together well and there are more holes and gaps and chasms. Every day newly worn and torn edges tear through my soul and the tears flow. 

Yet,  I can live without the smooth life and awkwardly crave and cling to moments of clarity. When a messy life is not a precisely packaged stack of fairness, I will find hope in her smile and an "I Love you" and I will accept those torn edges of her life.

(Dedicated to Judy and Brent Roberson who bring beauty to the frayed edges of this Alzheimers life.)