I don’t know if you noticed or not, but I’ve been away for a while. Not that I need to explain myself, but I want to. It’s a little therapeutic, I think.
I last posted on Dec. 7 before leaving on a trip for the day job where I was of out internet connectivity for a good portion of the time. I then flew to the east coast of the U.S. to pick up my mom and fly her back to my house for the holidays.
I believe I’ve mentioned it here before that my mom’s been suffering some memory issues, and this fall we finally got a more definitive answer as to what’s up: she has dementia (at best), but more likely Alzheimer’s. None of my siblings had an inkling how much her condition had declined until late last summer (she did an effective job hiding it from us), and we didn’t fully realize the extent of it until she arrived at my house last December. My mom stayed with me for a little over a month while we made arrangements to get her the care she needs. During her stay, I had little time to do anything other than care for her. I then spent most of January working with my siblings to get her resettled into a care facility. Her adjustment has been difficult, but she is doing much better now. I want the best for her, and I think she’s finally starting to get it. Needless to say, it’s been a difficult two months, and the challenges likely will continue.
What has surprised me during all this is the number of people I’ve met who have had similar experiences, either with a grandparent or parent or other loved one, and I’m surprised how little can be done for people suffering from this brain condition. Prior to last year, I had heard very little about dementia or Alzheimer’s, and I wonder if it’s because it tends to afflict the elderly, and thus has never received the public and research attention that things like cancer and heart disease get. I also wonder if this will change in the near future as the number of elderly expand with the aging baby boomer generation. Given the large number of boomers closing in on that critical age, the care that generation will need is mind-staggering, and I’m having serious doubts that the facilities exist to handle it (in the U.S. at least; I don’t know about other places). If you could see me as I type this, you’d see a deep crinkle in my brow. That crinkle has been there a lot recently as my siblings and I have fumbled our way through this. I don’t think it’s ever going to smooth out again.
So I’m back. I haven’t done much writing the past two months, but that doesn’t mean things haven’t been happening. They have, and I hope to start providing consistent updates on recent sales, forthcoming stories, books, and anthologies, works in progress, the craft of writing, and on the business of publishing. I also hope to catch up with a few writing colleagues that I’ve lost track of these past few months. Oh, and I plan to get back to writing stories—I don’t want to neglect that.