Today, I read the story of a dutiful son who took care of his mother with Alzheimer’s disease. It was a very touching and poignant story.
People with Alzheimer’s lose their memories due to the gradual degeneration of the brain. Because they have no memories, neither do they have dreams and hopes. We dream and hope for the future because of our past. Thus, people with Alzheimer’s life in a perpetual NOW. Much like what eternity is. Much like what many wise men tell us to do – to live in the present moment. Much like a divine milieu, beyond the boundaries of time and space.
Alzheimer’s is a burden mainly for the caregiver. But is it really that bad for the sufferer? I sometimes wonder.
We seem to have more cases of Autism these days than at any time in the past. Is Autism truly a disorder or will this be the new normal in the future? Autistic persons have fantastic abilities that is a source of wonder for normal people. Are they suffering from a disorder just because they are different from most of us? Or, are they the first of the new in our evolution as a species?
In his novel, The Clowns of God, Morris West had his characters discussing why God allows evil in the world, specifically why does He allow children with birth defects (like Down’s Syndrome or Autism) to be even born. Such children become the object of compassion and, thus, become occasions for other people to be kinder and gentler. Also such souls are never touched by sin and suffering. They are closer to heaven and the angels than are normal, ordinary human beings.
Who are we to judge then whether a certain state or condition is a bane or a curse. It could very well be a boon and a blessing. We just do not know or see it.