Tears for the Lost
Image designed by Cara Hartley
You are welcome to use it, but please credit me.
For this month's Charity Sunday, I am donating to the Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research. There are many forms of dementia. Not to put too fine a point on it, all of them suck ass. Alzheimer's disease is one of the most widely recognized forms of dementia. There is no cure and the idea that people won't get dementia if they just keep their minds active really grinds my gears because it's pure bull pucky.
I worked caring for the elderly for approximately 25 years. I have taken care of highly intelligent and gifted people with dementia. Unfortunately, doing crossword puzzles is not a safeguard against dementia and I really hate clickbait sharticles proclaiming that "keeping your mind active" prevents dementia.
Dementia can happen to artists, doctors, pharmacists, college professors, musicians, scientists, and yes, writers, to name a few professions requiring an active mind. Researchers don't fully understand why people develop Alzheimer's. However, studies have revealed that people presenting with the disease have an impaired ability to clear beta-amyloid plaque from their brains.
Those of you in my age range may recognize these elf-like brothers. They were born in 1953 and 1955. The younger brother on the left is aging abnormally in the sense that most 67-year-old men don't throw themselves around a stage half-naked while playing guitar as if possessed by the spirit of The Great Cornholio. The older brother, unfortunately, died in 2017 at age 64 after a 9-year-battle with early onset Alzheimer's.
(The Cornholio reference is not intended as an insult. These guys liked Beavis and Butthead, and so do I.)
I always thought this was a tremendously unfair fate. Malcolm Young wasn't a perfect person, but he tried to conduct himself in an honorable fashion. When his band's lead singer, Bon Scott, died suddenly in early 1980, Malcolm took it upon himself to call Bon's mother so she learned of the unfortunate incident from a sympathetic person rather than seeing it on the news.
As Dr. Greg House once said, you don't get what you deserve; you get what you get. Sometimes life hands good people a leaky bucket filled with raw sewage while certain orange-hued crooks and their complicit spawn walk free after being caught with classified documents stolen from the U.S. government.
I did this bit of Photoshop not long after I learned how ill Malcolm was.
I find the strength of the bond between these fellows touching. I watched an interview with Angus where he said that even after Malcolm's condition deteriorated to where he could no longer walk, talk, or feed himself, he would still smile whenever Angus came to visit him. That at least is a lovely thing. It reminds me of something the late Christopher Lee said following the passing of his great friend Peter Cushing.
“At some point of your lives, every one of you will notice that you have in your life one person, one friend whom you love and care for very much. That person is so close to you that you are able to share some things only with him. For example, you can call that friend, and from the very first maniacal laugh or some other joke you will know who is at the other end of that line. We used to do that with him so often. And then when that person is gone, there will be nothing like that in your life ever again”
Angus lost Malcolm and also his older brother George within a month of each other. Another case of life handing the leaky bucket of sewage to the wrong person.
Here is the link to donate to the Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research.
I would like to share a link to the book review I wrote for a series of children's books created by two sisters who cared for their mother who had Alzheimer's. The books are perfect for kids but also comforting for adults, at least those adults who are secretly still 10 years old inside. Like, you know, me.
The link goes live at 12 AM MST on 25 September 2022.
I've finished the first draft of Flight of the Dragons and now it's crunch time on editing to get it ship-shape for submission to Dragon Soul Press for potential inclusion in their Reign of Fire anthology.
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Length: 9000 Words
Heat Level: 0 Flames
Poverty and the threat of nuclear annihilation dominate his reality, so Simeon retreats to the world of his imagination where dragons fly free, bringing hope on leathery wings.
Simeon wasn’t sorry to leave the metropolitan area. With
pandemic restrictions and an increase in high-pollution days, his health
problems often prevented him from attending school in person, so he never
developed close friendships with his classmates.
Simeon was a dwarf who had undergone multiple heart
surgeries and procedures to correct his abnormally formed digestive tract. He
didn’t mind being a dwarf and figured it wouldn’t have mattered if he minded.
There were neither spells nor medications to make him grow, so he accepted
himself as he was. He didn’t mind eating softer foods to accommodate his
sensitive digestive system. He liked hamburgers, soups, and applesauce. He
could eat his favorite foods, such as bagels with cream cheese or grilled
The surgeons had satisfactorily corrected Simeon’s heart
anomalies. Overall, he was much healthier than he had been in early childhood.
However, he remained vulnerable to respiratory infections and asthma attacks.
I would also like to share the Gardenian flag that I created on Saturday morning. (Gardenia is the fictional nation where Simeon lives.) I couldn't have done it without Pixabay, Pixlr.com, and the flag creator app on rollforfantasy.com