Alzheimer's Disease: A Guide for Families

By Lenore S. Powell; Katie Courtice | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 1
Introduction

When Lillian and Jim arrived at the school lecture hall, people were assembling for the guest speaker's travel lecture.

Jim took an aisle seat and settled Lillian next to him. Barely a minute later, she stood up and announced that it was time to leave.

"Not yet, not yet," her husband whispered quietly to her as he pulled her back down into her chair. Lillian sat, but began to rock rhythmically back and forth. The chair creaked and people began to stare. Jim tried to stop her from swaying, but she angrily twisted her arm away and stood up.

"Let's go!" she declared, loudly enough to interrupt the lecturer and make several people stare at them. Embarrassed, Jim pulled her back into her seat. "Here," he hissed, "hold your purse and sit still."

She fingered the purse aimlessly for a minute, then opened the clasp and took out a tissue, which she shredded into little ribbons. She turned to the stranger on her left and held up the tattered remains. "Look!" she said to him. "Pretty!"

Jim snatched the paper from her hand and in an aggravated tone said, "Can't you just sit still?" Lillian was quiet for a short while, perhaps as long as two minutes. Then she began to rock again, forward and back, farther and farther, until her face touched her knees and her hand reached her shoe. She pulled off her loafer and put it in her lap. She tilted

-3-

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