I’m here to visit one of my good friends who’s recently been checked into a Memory Care facility. Such a gentle phrase. Care for the Memory. So much kinder than dementia or Alzheimer’s. I’m in a sort of all-purpose room, a Great Room, as they say. About half of the folks in this room are in wheel chairs, the others collapsed into recliners, fast asleep. I count a dozen women, two men. One of them is my friend. “Is the orchestra still playing?” a woman asks me as I walk by. I look around. Of course there is no orchestra anywhere in sight.
“Oh, yes,” I tell her, taking her hand. “The orchestra is still playing. It will always be playing.” I want to run from that room. But I stand still and listen. And there it is. Faure’s “Requiem” inside my head. I see that the room is full of light. I sit down and know I can stay awhile.