Image #222 – Ancient Oak/Ancient People

SAMSUNG CSC

 

Tango and I came across this incredible, ancient oak tree while exploring at Myakka River State Park last week. The base of the trunk was enormous and I would estimate that it would take three people holding hands to encircle it.  Its gnarly, pock-marked bark put me in mind of my cousin Bunny and a song that John Prine wrote and was covered by numerous people, including Kris Kristoferson and Bette Midler. Called “Hello in There” the lyrics go:

You know, Old trees just get stronger/Old rivers grow wider every day

But old people just get lonesome/Waiting for someone to say

Hello in there/Hello.

That describes my cousin Bunny perfectly.  She will be 94 years-old tomorrow (March 26) and she has a form of dementia that is so hard, for her and us. She cannot retain any recent memory. She awakens and her mind is blank.  She wonders where she is but when you tell her she cannot retain it. Things loop around continuously.  I am very patient with her and have discovered that if you are patient enough (and she must be patient too) you can get some things to “stick.”  Once that process happens you can dig deeper and things begin to emerge. She seems to have memories of 2005-2007 but not much beyond that. The fall that injured her pelvis and led her to the ALF occurred in 2010.  So for 4 to 7 years she has been floating in the dream-like world wherein she frequently is driving and she awakens thinking she has just driven in from New England or “the boonies.”  I asked her what the “boonies” are and she said “the Florida forest.”  I wonder what images she is tapping into because she has been coming to Florida since the 1940s.

It is wondrous on many levels but on a basic human level it is very sad.  Two days ago she got into a loop of asking if she had asked these questions before.

“Yes,” I reply.

“Today?” she asks.

“Yes,” I reply.

“Several times?” she asks.

“Yes,” I reply.

“Well,” she drolly replies,  “that must be tiresome.”

I could only laugh … and hope the tears in my eyes don’t fall down my cheeks. ❧

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s