So, my husband has Alzheimer's. His 59th birthday was just 11 days ago. He's way too young to have this particular condition. His is called "early-onset", which I appreciate. It's an acknowledgment that this is not usual. In fact, Alzheimer's is not "typical" at any age, it is not a "normal" part of aging.
Autumn is finally upon us and I am reminded of why I love this season SO much. The cooler air with some breeze. The crisp mornings with a surprising number of songbirds singing as though they are coming back for spring. This is the first year I noticed that. They are singing so much more than they did in the summer. If spring is the season of new beginnings, what is fall?
I asked for the day off and got it. The nervous me hesitated because I'm running to the end of my time off. I'm afraid I haven't planned out all my needed time for doctor's appointments and such. On Wednesday, when I woke up I thought it was Thursday. I had psyched myself up that the next day would be Friday before a 3 Day Weekend. So, when I went to work again on Thursday feeling like Groundhog Day...I asked for Friday off. Voila, I had the day off.
This morning looked like a Seattle day with a grey sky and soft, light rain. As Jordan and I went out on our errands I felt homesick or nostalgic (I'm not sure which) for our Northwest home.
After our errand, I wanted to stop at B&N, "just for a minute", so I could pick up a sweet, happy novel. My goal was to really live the dream. The one where I'm on the couch with my novel with a cup of hot tea and loving the soft sound of rain outside. What better way for me to spend what is likely my last real vacay day of the year?
I told Jordan I would just run in and run out...so he could wait in the car. --If we both got in there we would never get out and my opportunity for rain, book and tea would be lost.
I've had trouble finding novels that capture me like I longed to be captured. I planned on asking the sales person to help me find a novel with these requirements: 1. Sweet, 2. Happy 3. Not dark, dreary or sad.
But, I thought "I can do this". So I raced down the fiction aisles looking for new books by my known and trustworthy authors. --All of my authors must be between books. Choosing an unknown (to me) author can be tricky. I did not want to regret my book on my Ferris Bueller Day Off.
So, to the YA aisle I went. I was happy when I found Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl. It's been on my list for a while. I chose two other books and almost skipped out of the store.
Books in hand, we drove to Starbucks for a favorite, vanilla latte and banana nut bread. Yes, this day off was going to be everything I ever wanted.
And it was. I finished my first book in pretty much one "sitting". I did take a bathroom break or two and I ate some lunch...but my nose was back in the book very quickly.
The book that held me all day (and for many days to come, I believe) is The Memory Book by Lara Avery.
Sammie, the main character, grabbed me on page one. She wrote to herself so she could remember what she needed to remember. A rare condition causing memory loss at the early age of 18 had taken residence in her body. It sounds like the story would be depressing, but it really hopeful. Sammie wrote down things to remember as she continued to work on her goals of being valedictorian and going to NYU. She was basically already valedictorian, she just needed to hold on to her grades for the last school term.
Sammie was strong, she was determined, she was ME!
I recognized her dedication to her goal which was to get to college on a scholarship. My goals didn't include a scholarship, but they did include taking the academic side of school very seriously. I recognized Sammie's need to stay in control. The need to control the things "you can control" because there are so many things we can't control. Sammie could control how much she prepared and studied. She could taste the end goal.
In the middle of all of this, of course, is a complicated love story. --That is the sweet part. So, so sweet. So worth it.
I was in Sammie's world the entire day. I was wanting to help her make the "right" decisions. You know, like when you tell the girl in the movie not to open the door? Like that. But Sammie has a strong mind of her own. She didn't really need my help.
So, there you have it. My last day of for no reason, except to do exactly what I wanted, was a success.
Wishing everyone blissful days. Even on the hard ones.