I haven't written anything here in a week or so; I fear that I was so preoccupied that I just couldn't bring myself to write. The horrible events surrounding the death of Jamie Bishop, along with increasing problems with early-stage Alzheimer's with Dad, left me in feeling a bit withdrawn and uncommunicative.
That's a natural tendency of mine that I have to consciously work against: when faced with problems that aren't solvable, I tend to respond to them by cutting myself off from others. Maybe I brood, maybe I just contemplate... whatever you want to call it, it's a lonely and isolating experience, and one that I fall back on regularly.
Jamie's death has bothered me, even though I didn't know him as an adult--but what I learned about him after the shooting made it clear that he was a person I would have liked to have known. He shared interests with me; he had talents I wish I could have appreciated; he accomplished a great deal in his all-too-brief life. And that made me realize that the same could very well have held true for every one of those thirty-two victims, and I'll never know it; I only learned it about Jamie because I knew his parents and wanted to learn more about the son in whom they had instilled their values, to whom they had bestowed their talents.
As for Dad--I worry for him. He's lonely, and has been horribly so since Mom was taken from us in late 2002. The Alzheimer's, even in its early stages, is blurring some of the qualities that defined Dad for so very many years. At times, we can converse and his old sharpness will return; at other times, I see confusion at a world that seems, for him, to be going on without him. He has been a proud, articulate, self-confident, capable, insightful man for as long as I've been alive; now I see him struggling to rediscover some of those same qualities, and it makes me very sad.
No answers. No profound revelations. No sagacious observations here. Just a sort of "I'm back" statement, letting you know why I've been gone.