Death Comes Fast

This post is submitted to Sunday Photo Fiction.

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Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding

The telephone call came at 6:04 p.m. I remember the exact time because the national news was beginning and the ringing of the telephone irritated me.

It was Sara. “Jeff passed away last night,” she cried.

I was speechless. My mind going from full speed ahead to a full stop in a nanosecond.

Jeff was diagnosed with frontal lobe dementia four years ago. I was a witness to this disease’s rapid progress through his mind and body.

We were both terrible golfers. But Jeff started to have difficulty keeping his score. As the disease progressed we would tell him what he scored. He would say, “That sounds about right.” At one point he took a swing at an imaginary ball. He went through all the motions: put the ball on the tee, took a practice swing, then took a full swing with a beautiful follow through. But he forgot to take the ball out of his pocket. “Mike, you forgot the ball!” Mike went through the same procedure again without the ball.

As this terrible disease progressed he would lose the ability to recognize family and friends, forget how to use eating utensils. Four years from diagnosis to death. Jeff was 62 year old.

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