Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Gummy. My Evil Plan. And Maybe Dementia is Contagious.

Are evil geniuses immune to dementia?

Or are they first in line?

No, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I don't think I'm either, but allow me to present my case and you be the judge. 

Just because I have three books I'm writing simultaneously AND moved my mother-in-law into my house, because of her memory problems, is not proof of anything.

Sometimes you have to be the one who does what needs to be done.

After raising dozens of children (MATH FACT: 2.5, but they had a lot of enthusiasm and friends), I'm used to being followed to the bathroom 24/7, and answering the same questions over and over again.

And things were going just fine.

Yeah, that's a lie. You don't have to cross examine me. I'll admit it. Things have not been fine. Anything involving dementia/Alzheimer's is not fine. The person with the disease struggles. Everyone around them copes. Mostly poorly because it's a Herculean task for all involved. 

Remember Ten Second Tom from Fifty First Dates? It's exactly like that, only we're not in a comedy no matter how often it feels like that.

Gummy isn't a character actor with a juicy role. She's a woman with hopes and dreams and plans that could fill up another seventy years of life. But dementia doesn't give a damn what she wants. It's taken root in her brain and knows only destruction. Every moment of every day she battles that monster. The people who love her are often reduced to worn out cheerleaders or strangers.

No matter how much enthusiasm you bring to this game, it's never enough. The fallout from this disease will take everything and every minute you have. Still. I believe in solutions and thinking outside the box. Plus I learned to multitask from those legions of kids I raised.

The only way I could write with Gummy here was to wait for her to fall asleep (parents, does this sound familiar?) and then write, but only in my bedroom. My office is too close to the room Gummy sleeps in. If a sound or light escapes, Ten Second Tom must investigate. The fact that I'm up working is a shocking surprise. Every. Single. Time.

Even though this care-taking had been happening for the past months, while simultaneously juggling regular life, I'd been doing pretty well with it. Not physically because you can never get in front of it when you're shoveling sand against the tide, and there's not much time to sleep, but mentally. 

This was my job now, until we could figure out what was best for Gummy.

But then DUDE SERIOUSLY day hit, and it had nothing to do with dementia. Not really.

Gummy was tired all day, because she had gone late into the night worrying and packing. This is what she does. Every. Single. Day. She can't remember not to. She can't remember why she's here. She can't remember where she should be. Like that sand and the tide, she can't hold onto anything. 

Thought is transient. Memory is muddled. Intent is insoluble.

My job was to calm her down. To answer the same questions over and over again, and get her to stop packing and go back to sleep. Then I tried to sleep, until the packing and questions started again. So when the straw dropped onto my camel back that day, I had no patience for anyone else on the planet.

THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is what triggered my confession for all the world to see. Because the whole world comes by The Glitter Globe. (Another lie. I think we're establishing a precedent.) Fine. But the whole world does get on Facebook, and that's where I pasted my manifesto.

My DUDE SERIOUSLY is because rumors in her hometown crossed state lines and triggered my inner Bitch Witch. It's no coincidence I wrote a book about one. She's in here, and sometimes she gets out.

I probably shouldn’t address rumors, but DUDE SERIOUSLY, Judge, I’m gonna.

Dear Haters and Gossipers,

Subject: Me Selling Gummy’s House and Keeping All the $$$ for Myself. 


I shall be purchasing a Yacht to Sail the South of France and Live off the Proceeds.


Yes. I married Gummy’s son and hung on for thirty years so I COULD DO JUST THIS.


Yes. Working all these years WAS A FRONT.

Hell, investing every cent from the work in order to found my own start up photonics business was also a FRONT.

All those engineering conferences I wanted to jam picks into my ears during was ALL JUST A FAKE OUT!


The night owl writing and the books I’ve written and published and sold? Just part of the trickery. HAH YOU ALL BOUGHT IT DIDN’T YOU?

I admit the whole damn thing. The entire thing was with my eye on waiting for the right moment to sell Gummy’s house and WALLOW IN THE BANK. Everyone knows that three bedroom one bath 1,200 SQFT fifty-year-old homes in Small Town America (where all industry left decades ago) is SOLID GOLD bitches.

Everyone knows that Memory Care units in Assisted Living are virtually FREE. Like a hotel in New York City free. Like a first class airline ticket FREE. Like a trip on the Mars shuttle CAKE. I'll just stick her in there with my pocket change from my WRITING EMPIRE and sail away like I've always planned! 

I’m going yacht shopping.



S.R. Karfelt's Inner Bitch Witch

P.S. — Bite me.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, you be the judge. I'm of the opinion that the ones losing the fluff out of their bean bag chairs are the gossip-mongers. If I were the judge, I'd sentence them all to dementia duty. It builds character, and strengthens the inner Bitch Witch.

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