When two or more personalities exist in a single person, it’s called ‘multiple personality disorder’.  Generally, multiple personality disorder is triggered by childhood trauma, but sometimes it has purely organic causes.  Psychology admits to understanding very little about this area.  Even Alzheimer’s disease is listed as one of the causes.

In fact, AD produces just the opposite of multiple personalities.  Rather than calling up an additional personality, Alzheimer’s disease strangles the current one, causing it to wither, to shrivel up.  What’s left is a “demi-personality”.  Though here in body, the one you knew becomes a missing person.

Very much of Barbara remains familiar.  I still love the sound of her voice.  Her mere scent is still my favorite perfume.  I catch glimpses of the fiery, funny, captivating creature who once ferried children and grandchildren from spot to spot, who marshaled troops of volunteers to pull off church functions, who hosted hundreds of gatherings in our home, who helped hurting friends through the healing process.  And so much more.  I catch glimpses of this awesome being.

I think back on our adventures in the last three decades.  From the Grand Canyon to the grandchildren,  through times of terror and triumph, Barb saw only the good in people and found a way for them to see it too.  One week she may run construction crews as they remodel our house and the next week help new foster babies get to their new homes.

Today Barb is a missing person.  No search party could find her.  Posters with her picture would never bring her home.  Alzheimer’s disease slithered into her head and makes deadly strikes at her brain, killing off her personality bit by bit.  There is no anti-venom.  There’s only waiting.  And keeping her safe.  –lg