Monday, January 7, 2008

Reece, Personal Musings - The Long Way Home

When my wife and I are out for a ride, she often says, “Let’s take the long way home.”

The long way home is along the shore, where we can see nature at work and witness the sun with its shimmering iridescent effects on the sea surface, the waves whipping up froth, the colorful sunsets lighting the evening sky, and cumulous cloud formations and vapor trails of planes.

I was thinking of our long way home the other day when we were returning from a visit with my brother-in-law. We were listening on the radio to Anton Dvorjak’s “Going Home” theme from the New World Symphony. The theme is derived from a Negro spiritual, and is often played or sung at funerals.

With his disease, a Lewy Body variant of Parkinson’s disease, in which mind and body slowly, then quickly close down, usually over a two year period, Jack is taking his own long way home. In his case, it’s a sad way home, for his mind remains clear while he is imprisoned in his own body – unable to speak, move, talk, or control his body functions.

Each of us, in our own way, are taking the long way home. Let’s enjoy the sights, the workings of nature, and our fellow man as we journey home. And let’s salute those doctors, nurses, and aides in convalescent homes who are escorting our loved ones home.

1 comment:

janemariemd said...

What a lovely post! I've always loved "The New World Symphony", and can play that part you specifically cite in my mind. You are right to salute the staffs of nursing homes--they work very hard under difficult circumstances. Some of us are just fated to have slow declines. I have NH patients I see occasionally, and I haven't figured out how to alter this. Really, I can't, right?