I had to leave my novel featuring a main character with Alzheimer’s and dementia alone for a few weeks after my aunt finally got a nursing home placement. Working on it felt like cutting myself in the same place every time the wound healed. Now I finally feel like I can work on it again.
“My mother has dementia and wanders in her mind, and I won’t have anyone taking advantage of that,” I said. “She can make up amazing stories with the smallest stimuli. She can see a man crossing the street and tell me that she knows him, he came on to her, his wife left him because of it and . . . oh, never mind.” Julia was smiling and nodding. So she was a “pastor,” and I had taken the wrong road and ended up at some country church with about twenty members. There was probably a box of snakes under the altar, too.