I've been more intentional with my reading this year (speaking of which, have you sent me your book recommendations yet?), and this month, I've devoured two books. The first of those books was Jeanne Murray Walker's offering, The Geography of Memory: A Pilgrimage through Alzheimer’s. The book chronicles Walker's struggle in caring for her mother, who suffered in her last years from Alzheimer's. The book was honest and engaging. It led to me to consider my grandfather, who waged his own battle with dementia in his last days.
I penned these thoughts for The High Calling this week. I hope you enjoy them.
My grandfather was a tall-tale of a man, one whose great appetites were matched only by his passion and wit. He was a successful businessman, a gentleman to all the ladies, a conservationist of conservationists, and a man of faith who rooted his family into a pragmatic Episcopalian practice. He was an accomplished man, a man whom success, it seemed, had deemed fit to call “friend.”
He was larger than life, my grandfather. I remember still the magnitude of his personality, the thundering voice that matched it. As a boy, I’d make the six hour trip to Monroe, Louisiana, and he’d greet me in the front drive, would thunder his standard salutation—“Hey goat head!” Even in my twenties, I remember how the greeting seemed to rattle my bones. Once, I swore I saw the Cyprus knees on the banks of Bayou Desiard rattle, too.