I’ve just spent the last week in an elder care facility with my mom and dad. My mom lives in a Memory Care Unit with other people who are confused enough to need full time care. They are all unable to live safely on the “outside”. I’ve been in the unit ten hours a day and have enjoyed getting to know the other residents. They all have varying degrees of detachment from reality, but everyone still exhibits some of the quirky characteristics that make up their personalities. It’s fun to find a place to connect with each one, and find out what makes them laugh or smile.
At 56, with the processing and memory impairments of chemo brain, it’s not that hard for me to imagine landing a few more steps down the path to join these folks. That’s a little scary to think about, but some things you just don’t get to choose. We’re all some degree of crazy.
Yesterday I went Out for lunch with my folks. My 86 year old father, who is (in his words) “not afraid of the gas pedal” drove; I mostly kept my eyes closed. Sitting in the restaurant somehow did not feel that different than sitting in the dining room on the memory unit. Everyone at the restaurant tables was also some degree of crazy. We have to be, to function in the human world of social rules and expectations. We’ve all been raised by crazy people. It’s just a matter of degree, what side of the line someone lands on.
Tomorrow I’m going home to my “normal” life. Ha ha ha!