All is Being Lost
In a roadside restaurant in the Maremma region of Tuscany I watched this man feed his Alzheimer’s-ish mother. Having cared for my own Alzheimer father I recognized the tenderness and patience he brought to the task. The roles are reversed at this stage of life; the parent is the 3 or 4 year old, and the child assumes the parent role, and often, in this situation, the deepening absence of the parent doesn’t bring the joy one gets with the awakening of the child to the world around them.
All is being lost and yet there is nothing to do but love and care for them while watching the decline. But every once in a while there is the briefest moment of return to lucidity and the present, and like photography, if we are present, we get the gift of their awakening, and then it’s gone.