June 25, 2023
Reflections from the Heart of Allan Redenius
One morning, early morning, or so I thought, I awoke and believed I was late to deliver the Des Moines Register. I scrambled out of bed, ran to the garage, jumped on my bicycle, and headed toward downtown to pick up the papers for delivery.
But something was wrong. Why are there so many people this early in the morning? Cars on the street, people sitting on storefront benches with lots of conversation to go around. Why aren’t my papers here for me to pick up, so I can begin my route?
I am like a duck out of water, not realizing what was taking place. I need to think this through. Don’t panic. No, it’s not a dream. All of this is really happening. Suddenly, as if hit on the side of the head, I put it all together.
Here’s how it all came to be. It was Saturday, late afternoon. I was in my room and apparently had fallen asleep. When I awoke the clock said, “7.” Like Santa, up from the chimney I arose and off to downtown did I go. Here’s the catch. It was 7 PM, not 7 AM. You’ve heard of babies getting their nights and days mixed up? Not a baby, but certainly mixed up.
I wonder if sometimes people suffering with dementia feel as I felt that day. Everything out of place, nothing in the order expected.
One of my friends suffered from early Alzheimer’s. A prominent lawyer, charisma laying on the sidewalk behind him as he walked down the street. He was everybody’s friend. Then one day, he drove from where he started to home, only to end up fifty miles away. At the football game before his illness, everyone would say, “Come and sit with us.” Then one Friday night, he stood in the aisle all alone, looking confused. No one said a word. I got up, took him by the hand, and he sat with my family. All of his friends were there—but they weren’t.
If somebody looks confused, show a little love and kindness.
Hey, come and sit with me….
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