ON A QUEST

The quest narrative is one of the oldest ways of telling a story.  There have been thousands of such narratives written, including King Arthur and the Knights of the Roundtable, Moby Dick, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and many others.

A quest is a long or hard search for something.  We go on quests as parents to rear our children to be strong and loving.  Our marriage is a quest for a life that is better together than it would be alone.  We are on a quest to grow closer to God and to allow Him to mature us.  Companies are on a relentless quest for growth and higher margins.

We often describe the search for a drug to cure or prevent a disease as a quest.  So far, in the quest to prevent Alzheimer’s Disease, the drugs have not succeeded.  Each failure is disheartening, but companies and researchers don’t give up.  The  big bets are on anti-amyloid treatments.

Alzheimer’s involves a catastrophic form of brain damage.  My Barbara senses that things are wrong.  Every day for her is spent in a quest to put things right.  But, like Don Quixote, her quest is not grounded in reality.  Especially in the mornings, she carries things from room to room and back again, putting them in the ‘right place.’  A stack of folded towels, waste baskets from the bedroom, pillows, dishes from the washer.  I ‘help’ her by tagging along behind and putting things where they go.

I don’t say “Good Night” to Barb anymore.  Instead, I kiss her and say, “I’ll be back in a minute.”  She always answers, “OK, Darling” and is immediately asleep.  I usually go to my computer and read.  I peek in regularly to check on her.  She will wake up tomorrow to a new day and her quest for order, to “get back to Kansas,” will continue.   –lg

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