It’s the way he looks around that is hardest to take; the frightened look of a traveller lost in a maze of indecipherable alien symbols and incoherent foreign chattering. Smiling and nodding at everything, agreeing to anything, defensive actions to prevent any exposing questions from the unknown strangers that his family has become.
Dementia feasts on the fresh memories, eroding the hard won lessons and experience of recent times, washing out new images like overexposed film. Only the deepest scars of war, the darkest prison-shadows cast against his mind remain un-devoured, and he clings to them, a raft made of lost and dead friends floating in a sea of confusion.
The present is reduced to a twisted television signal, more static and noise than picture; but the war is left behind, colourful, focused.
An attempt at ‘Five-Sentence-Fiction’ from Lilly McFerrin’s blog.
This ones again a little personal, my Grandfather, a POW of the Japanese in World War II is in his 90’s and is suffering from the effects of age related dementia. Whilst he frequently forgets current things and people and places, the war stories never seem to lose clarity.
I don’t visit enough.