Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Missing Dottie

My Mom sent an e-mail today about an old friend, she’s not doing well. She lived next door to us in Alaska, and would take care of me and my sister when Mom needed to leave us with someone. She was older, so we weren’t really friends then, but we became friends as adults, years later, when AdventureMan and I moved to the Tampa Bay area and my friend and her husband lived just blocks away.

I’ve been missing my old friend; twice when I moved, she was there, the big-sister-I-never-had, helping me to move in while AdventureMan was far away. The first time, she loaned us her truck for several weeks while we settled and searched for another car. When I moved back to Seattle, she cleared out my overgrown garden, and then unpacked all the china and crystal and washed it and put it away in the cabinet. She was so much fun.

Through the years, she loved life and lived it to it’s fullest. She loved her time living in Egypt, and in Ramallah, and she travelled and sailed just about everywhere in the world. She exercised and watched her weight. She passed all the best books along to me, and kept up with the news. She was fit and active, and engaged with the world around her.

Statistically, and in all probability, she would never have seemed a risk for Alzheimer’s. I’m still angry about it. This should never have happened to her. It isn’t fair. She should be laughing, enjoying her grandchildren, dancing, swimming, sailing, running, biking, cooking, entertaining – all the things she loved. She DESERVES better. And I guess I am angry because I am selfish, and I want her to be around for ME. And I know that all this is stupid and childish, I should just accept and be calm, but it’s just so unfair and it makes me so angry. She is still in this world, although we don’t know for how long, but then again, she isn’t, not really, she is not a part of this world any longer, she just exists. It’s not right and it’s not fair and Alzheimer’s is a robber and a thief.

April 30, 2010 - Posted by | Aging, Alaska, Character, Florida, Friends & Friendship, Health Issues, Interconnected, Living Conditions, Seattle

4 Comments »

  1. I’m so sorry to hear about your friend. Your feelings are neither stupid, childish, nor selfish – their normal and warranted. They are a form of grief. Although your friend has not passed away, she is, as you say, not really a part of this world any longer so you feel the loss in the same way.

    The grandmother of a close relative had Alzheimer’s years ago so I’ve had the misfortune of seeing first hand what the family endured. My prayers are with you and Ms. Dottie.

    Comment by BitJockey | April 30, 2010 | Reply

  2. I’m so sorry, sis. Its heartbreaking, and yes, unfair. I’d like to tell you not to be angry but that would be foolish. Enjoy the memories – you hold them for both of you now.

    Comment by Sparkle | April 30, 2010 | Reply

  3. I’m so sorry. I lost my grandmother to Alzheimer’s though she’s still alive. It’s a horrible and draining experience. My prayers are with you and her family.

    Comment by G | May 1, 2010 | Reply

  4. Thank you, Bit Jockey . . . it is definitely a form of grief. This was an extraordinary woman. And part of it is truly selfish, I feel cheated. She was my mentor and guide and wise friend who could warm me of pitfalls and share her own experiences, and we could talk about anything. I wanted her in my life. It’s not just me, she has a loving husband who takes care of her at home, and sisters, and many friends. I should be old enough to know that sometimes life isn’t fair, but there is a child living inside of me that feels CHEATED and ANGRY!

    Thank you, Sparkle; I keep thinking she is still there, deep inside, watching all this happen, and what hell it must be for her.

    Oh, G, I am so sorry. Your grandmother! Did you know her well before she fell victim to Alzheimer’s? Did she tell you stories about her life growing up in old Kuwait?

    Comment by intlxpatr | May 1, 2010 | Reply


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