First posted on Mark Is Cranky:
On the drive home last night, I listened to a Fresh Air interview with Dr. Jerald Winakur. The topic was how to deal with an aging parent who is entering that time of the slow downward spiral years of dementia and so on. Dr. Winakur has apparently struck a chord with the recent publication of an article entitled What Are We Going To Do With Dad?
At one point the discussion circled around to the fact that all of us tend to deny and/or avoid thoughts of our own inevitable demise.
Sure enough, I avoided those thoughts myself as I took one of those amazing descending mental journeys. You know the ones. In the span of less than a second you can travel back in time, take a few side-trips and draw back to the present. The speed and detail are oftentimes breathtaking.
In my case the visit went back to my first 'real' girlfriend in high school. How amazing she looked when I first saw her walk into morning English class, a whirlwind of blond hair, puffy yellow blouse and arresting smile. It was a couple of years before we actually got together. How would my life have been different if we'd stayed together beyond those years? Would I have still met my first wife? I sure hope so...I met my current wife through her. Would she have then avoided her current abusive marriage? (I learned of that at my 20th high school reunion a few years back). I wonder if she still listens to Bad Company (earlier in the day yesterday I'd watched a bit of video of Queen and Paul Rodgers...and decided that that odd pairing was far more exciting than I could have imagined). We listened to Straight Shooter one time when we were getting...uhm....naughty. She loved The Dead....but dismissed Shakedown Street as "disco Dead". The way she wrinkled her nose at it made me not care about our disagreement.
And right there I ascended back to the present...on the one hand thinking about the unpleasant ever after, and on the other there's Sherry from Maine and that Dead record we could not agree on.
I hope that as I get near the end, I can still remember her.