I love to go to Nebraska, I grew up there and it will always be home. It will always be the quiet, small town where you can leave your doors and cars unlocked. It will always be the small town where you can take long walks after dark and not be afraid. It will always be the small town where dining in the local restaurant means a night of conversations with people you have known many years.
As much as things stay the same however, time does march on and mostly, people change. Faces are more weathered and wrinkled, hair is greyer, and waists are thicker. Old buildings are gone and new ones take their place. Those are the things you expect and accept as a normal part of life. Those are the easy things.
However as I am getting ready to venture back to my hometown this morning I know that there are things that will greet me that will bring great pain. Things that will greet me that make me cry for the past that no matter what it looks like, no longer exists.
When Alzheimer’s enters a family lives are altered forever. Unlike the old buildings in town that were torn down and replaced with new, Alzheimer’s has to run its destructive course, there is no amount of rebuilding and remodeling that can be done. The life slowly leaves the building and finally it crumbles taking all that the building once was with it.
However I won’t let that ugly disease keep me from the man who might not remember it, but will always be my Dad. His strength and wisdom might not be visible anywhere but in memory anymore, but He is still Dad. I will go to Nebraska, I will find delight in the things I remember that still are and I will love as much as always, the things that are no longer as they once were.
…………….and so I ride