April 23, 2004

Free

Late in life my paternal grandfather developed Alzheimer’s. The disease advanced quickly. Within a few months he could no longer recognize anyone, not even his wife. In broken, incoherent sentences he would tell the same story over and over, unaware that he had just told it.

I never saw him happier. The disease melted the sorrow from his face. Suddenly his eyes, which I had never noticed before, sparkled. He was free.