A Jail of the Mind
A Story of Alzheimer's
Have you a loved one who is slowly deteriorating from the affects of Alzheimer’s or some other mind wasting disease? Have you ever wondered what goes on inside their head as they while away their final days seemingly in dazed incomprehension? Dottie Masterson is one such person. Born in 1929 into a poor, dysfunctional family in Crawfordsville, Indiana, she is spending her sunset years serving a death sentence—condemned by Alzheimer’s Disease to live her final days locked inside her mind. She can no longer carry a conversation nor can she control her bladder. When she eats, she stuffs food in her mouth to the point of gagging, but inside her mind she remembers. Boy, does she remember. This book is a series of memories from Dottie’s life. Some are funny; others are sad. Some take place in actual historic events, and others highlight the daily grind of poverty, abuse and neglect. Each in its own way is a poignant reflection of not only Dottie’s life but of the mid-20th century in small town Midwest America. The memories loosly follow Dottie’s life as she is growing up, but they are brought on by events taking place in the nursing home around her--events she is largely unaware of but which stir vivid, bittersweet memories. An invitation is extended for all to experience Dottie’s story and to reflect for a moment on not only those suffering from debilitating disease but our own lives so we don’t make the same mistakes that Dottie made in hers.
- Bradley Wilkinson, August 2011
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