The weather had never affected my plans this seriously before. I’ve always detested days that aren’t rainy or sunny…just gloomy. Today was one of those days and it was serving no other purpose than to enhance the feeling of regret and lonliness I was already experiencing.

The previous day I had made plans for all the little things I was going to accomplish. They no longer seemed important. The stillness of the day seeped into my soul and I too felt quiet and somber like the birds who had ceased singing. Only the lonely chirp of the cricket was left to break the song of silence.

As I read the morning paper, a name in the obit column caught my eye. That name represented one of the reasons I did what I did as well as one of the reasons I recently gave it up. Now, it represented a feeling of guilt that I could have and should have been there. My job required far more compassion than the average person has to give and many days I felt as though I was working blindly and talking to myself. Alzheimer’s patients can be unpredictable…but then there were people like George.

I remember our conversations. One moment they made perfect sense and the next George would break into song. What a voice he had! I always wanted to get his voice and lyrics on tape as they were magical. He knew songs I had never heard and his dimentia would exit long enough for him to remember each lyric and tune perfectly. Then, suddenly, he would stop singing and inform me that his mother would be in later to pay for his lunch.

Oh, George…I will miss you. The way you smiled when you sang, the thrill you got from reading the sale prices in the newspaper inserts and the way your eyes lit up when I’d say “Hey George, would you like to go outside today?” When you started saying no I knew it was the beginning of the end.

I promised when I left I would return to visit. It won’t be the same without George. But then again it will.