Lost in a cloud of time and space

Dean Drivers Father

Lost in a cloud of time and space
May 30
00:10 2019

By Dean Driver

Sometimes a poorly planned, backlit snapshot tells a story better than a professional portrait.

I took this photo of my dad, who suffers from Alzheimer’s and lives in a facility with a dozen other dementia patients.

He once had a rich, complicated life like most of us do, full of friends and family and frustrations and successes. He once flew airplanes and rode motorcycles and water skied like a bad ass. He once had a head full of memories and names and numbers.

Now all that’s mostly gone, as this photo seems to say to me. His face – his own identity – is lost in the brilliance of sunlight. An unreadable clock hovers over him, a symbol of the cruel and inevitable passing of time. It almost looks like he’s enveloped in a dense fog, which is the way I think of him these days. He’s lost in a cloud of time and space.

All families have their burdens to bear and our family has no monopoly on loss or struggle. Blessings and curses are intertwined, with love and loss being just two sides of the same coin. But do be thankful for the forces that keep you connected to the real world: the warmth of friends, the sense of wonder that propels you to explore new places and ideas, and the joy that comes from retracing and remembering the steps of your own unique human journey. These are gifts that fade like old photographs.

Some of us leave this world in a bang, and others slip away like water in a leaky bucket. I’m not wise enough to know which is worse.

Dean Driver is a former aerospace engineer. Now a musician, he and his wife Laurel operate Doodad Farm, a non-profit music venue just east of Greensboro.

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