Saturday, July 19, 2008

I Read a Book

I don’t know how long it has been since I read a complete book, but well over a year. There was a time when I was reading several books a week. When my mother began sinking into dementia, I became paranoid. Every lapse of memory or concentration I had was a sign that the same thing was happening to me.

I went to using manuscripts for my sermons, instead of the loose notes and outlines I had used for years. I was having difficulty thinking on my feet and finding words. I was sure it meant I was developing dementia, and I was going to follow the path my mother was on. Then I was diagnosed with sleep apnea. I got a cpap machine, began to sleep at night, and found that my memory and concentration improved tremendously. I stopped using manuscripts and went back to notes.

More recently, I’ve had difficulty with reading books. I’d read articles and Bible commentaries, but books just didn’t seem to hold my attention. I remembered that one of Mom’s earliest symptoms had been the loss of the ability to read and comprehend books. I began avoiding books, so I wouldn’t have to face my diminishing mental abilities. I returned books to my brother unread.

This past week I read a blog entry with a link that seemed to describe my difficulties with reading. I was relieved, to say the least. About that time, the book Ninety Minutes in Heaven appeared in my front door. Inside the back cover was a place for me to sign and date when I’d read it. The book was making the rounds of the church, and they wanted me to read it, and no doubt comment on it. Remembering the article I’d read, I picked it up and began to read it. I finished it within a couple of days. The relief was overwhelming.

Last night a woman approached me at the Ice Cream Social. “Have you read Ninety Minutes in Heaven?”


“Isn’t it good?”

“Yes, it is.”

She was thinking about the assurance the book gave her about her son and husband. I was thinking about fact that I could still read a book cover to cover. We were both happy.

1 comment:

Munchkin Mom said...

I was always a voracious reader--I majored in English in college, and despite working two jobs, I was able to read, comprehend, and remember Shakespeare, Beowulf and The Canterbury Tales in the original language, and abstract poetry.

I used to read a book or two a week, easily, but over the last five years, I am unable to finish much. I got a book for Christmas, and despite it being by one of my favorite authors, I can't get past the first chapter.

I think it is the distraction and stress. I am glad you have managed to read, too.