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Building "Air Castles"

I can remember being told that I was a builder of "Air Castles" in my younger days. I would be the first to admit I was “guilty as charged.” I grew up during the “Great Depression” years on a small farm near Rice Lake, Wisconsin. We were one of the poorer families in the neighborhood. My mother was a reader and encouraged my reading. I became a very avid reader. I particularly enjoyed the “Sherlock Holmes” stories. I could imagine myself involved in some great adventures in Victorian London.  I often imagined myself traveling to London to visit Scotland Yard and the other “Sherlockian” haunts. 

Later in life after becoming involved in the forensic sciences and meeting June, I was able to realize most of my boyhood dreams. June and I traveled to Europe many times as a part of my forensic work. London became our favorite city. We visited London eight times and established a friendship with an English couple that remains a firm relationship to this day. I visited the forensic firearms section of Scotland Yard (London Metropolitan Police) on 3 or 4 occasions. I also had lunch as a quest of their "Murder Squad". After lunch they presented me with a remembrance of the occasion. (The fancy cork  - Bolinger - from the luncheon wine bottle was split on the end and a 1955 Queen Elizabeth Shilling was forced half way into the end. The circumference of the cork was then enscribed: "Cardinal, London (Restaurant) 20 9 74  Friends") June was always a great and a fun traveler who made my life an adventure. I no longer had to build air castles. I was living my dreams. When I look back, I have no regrets – I would not change anything - only that June would not have Alzheimer’s.

                                                                                   (Photo Below is June Traveling in Ca. 1995.) 


Now that June is deep in the darkness of Alzheimer’s, (She is a resident in the Alzheimer’s wing of the Benedictine Health Care Center Nursing Home.)  I have once again started “Building Air Castles.” In past years I have never been one to buy lottery tickets. I have always felt that this was a total waste of money. I considered  my chances of winning a multi million dollar “power ball” jackpot would be so slim that I would more likely be hit by lightening before winning the jackpot. Now however, I have again taken up day dreaming of how I would spend such a bonanza. Because only participants can win, I have decided to become involved in a very low key manner.

My reoccurring day dream is to be able to bring June home to spend her final days in the home and in the bed that she slept in for almost 40 years. It would also restore a promise, now broken, that I made to June that we would always be together.

June is now in the final stages of Alzheimer’s and requires total care.  She cannot walk, talk or help her self in any way. .Because she bruises easily she requires two nursing assistants to move and transfer her from her Geri chair to the bed or to the bathroom. Long term care insurance only pays limited amounts for in home care. In any event, round the clock nursing care would be required and a staff of two would always needed to move or transfer her. Some home modification would also be needed. The cost would be huge and far beyond my means. 

So, yes, I am back to building air castles once again. Day dreaming about winning the “big one” - the large amounts of money that would be needed to bring June back to her home once again. It will probably never happen but if it did... -..A ”Publisher’s Clearing House” entry just came in the mail today..$5000. a week for life” - you know, that would probably just do it......


Comments (1)
air castles
1Monday, 15 September 2008 03:27
mary m thelen

I too dream of bringing Jim home in his final days... that is why this disease is so unfair..realistically he is better off at the VA where he can be made as comfortable as possible... I don't visit him as often as I would like because it is too hard to leave him. I only hope he realizes when I am there... as there is absoutely no way to tell. I buy a lottery ticket now and then dreaming of the big win so I could help everyone with this dreaded disease!

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