Saturday, January 16, 2010

Where is the Sun on This Foggy Day?

For the past three days fog has thrown a gloomy blanket over my world. I can’t see the sun, but, by golly, I know it’s there.

The haze is depressing and has awakened a philosophical streak in me. It reminds me of the fog that cast a net over us when Jim was diagnosed with “an Alzheimer’s type of dementia.”

During that dark time, determination and faith became the saving grace that kept the fog at bay. The knowledge that no one had defeated Alzheimer’s left us crushed beneath the miasma that took our breath away.

Fog makes me uncomfortable, and I feel threatened when driving with limited visibility. The only way to see the road is to dim the lights and cast them downward. If you leave the lights on bright, swirling grey clouds make you dizzy and you can’t see a safe distance ahead.

I’ve battled with fog a few times, and one night I thought the fog was going to win. I left the nursing home after spending time with Jim, headed for my son’s house. I took a shortcut to the highway on a narrow blacktop road and hit a spot where dense fog obstructed my view. When I could no longer see the pavement, I stopped and hoped I wasn’t parked in the middle of the highway.

I called Eric and told him I wasn’t sure where I was and couldn’t see anything. “I’m afraid a car will come along and hit me,” I said. I was beyond worried—I was scared and headed toward panic.

“Just stay put for a while and it will lift,” he said. “If the fog is so thick you can’t see anything, no one else will be moving either.”

Unfortunately, I never had much confidence in every driver having common sense. Time seemed to stand still while I waited for the fog to lift. I looked at a solid wall of grey, my stomach tied in knots.

Eventually, the fog cleared, and I resumed the journey to my son’s house. After my visit, I was apprehensive about driving home. Eric got in his truck and led the way. Following his taillights was reassuring, and the fog didn’t seem to be so scary.

Life can leave us feeling like we are all alone and lost in a fog. Alzheimer’s can seem like a solid wall blocking our path.

When circumstances bring us to a complete halt, we need to pause, take a few deep breaths to stave off the panic attack, and have faith the fog will lift. The darkness will end and the sun will burn through the haze.

Fog’s life is limited, but the sun always shines. Fog may obscure the reassuring sunlight, but at the perfect moment golden rays will burst forth in all its glory.
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