Archive for January 2, 2016

Ministerial Cottage, Americus, Georgia, and Difficult Memories   Leave a comment

Ministerial Cottage May 5, 2015 01

All Photographs by Kenneth Randolph Taylor, May 8, 2015

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In 2006 my parents moved into a ministerial cottage at Magnolia Manor in Americus, Georgia.  He was already declining due to Alzheimer’s Disease, although that diagnosis came later.  I had moved to Athens, Georgia, in August 2005, so I visited occasionally.  Geographical distance protected me from the worst of my father’s dementia and physical problems (some of them related to it) most of the time.  My mother, however, was not as fortunate.  Being his caregiver was quite difficult.

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A friend in Athens lost her father to Alzheimer’s Disease also.  She told me that her father had died about ten years before his physical death.  I have come to understand what she meant, for the man who died in October 2014 occupied my father’s body yet was quite diminished from the man who had raised me.

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My mother occupied the ministerial cottage until the beginning of June 2015.  I paid my last visit, mainly to help her pack, in early May of that year.  Looking at the rooms stirred up difficult memories related to my father’s illness.  I recalled, for example, that, on Thanksgiving Day 2013, shortly before my father left the house for the last time and entered the nursing home (visible through the kitchen window) involuntarily, his behavior prompted me to take a long walk up and down the sidewalks beside Lee Street just to get away from him.

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It is unfair that often the last memories we have of certain loved ones are difficult.  When these loved ones die physically, they have actually died already, for the people they were have ceased to exist.  Trying to conduct a simple and intelligent conversation with such a loved one in the final stage of life might prove impossible.  One seeks to treat him or her with respect and dignity, but he or she, as he or she is at that phase, makes that difficult.  I have compassion for these loved ones and for those who struggle to treat them properly, for I have had a taste of what that is like.  Even visiting my father in the nursing home for an hour at a time was emotionally and physically draining.  Repeating myself too many times due to his confusion, bad memory, and bad hearing was difficult.  I tried to be kind, but I realized that I did not know what do in that moment.  A sense of futility had set in.

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Fortunately for everyone, especially my father, he died before Alzheimer’s Disease had a chance to do its worst.  He knew his family until the end.  I had suspected that the end might come in late 2014, as it did.  His death was merciful for all involved.  I recall watching him struggle with confusion and become frustrated.  But what did he feel that he could not communicate to anyone?  What was it like to be him at the end?  That struggle ended in October 2014.

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We humans associate memories with where events occurred.  I associate my father’s end and the final stage of his decline with Magnolia Manor, Americus, Georgia.  Now that no member of my family lives on that campus anymore, I have little reason to visit the place.  That is fine, for I seek to build positive memories when I visit Americus.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 2, 2016 COMMON ERA

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Lloyd Glen Bishop, 1944-1945   Leave a comment

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Above:  My Grandfather’s Portrait in the Seniors Section of The Javelin (1945), Crystal City High School, Crystal City, Texas

All Scans by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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Senior Class President

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On the Annual Staff with Barbara Ann Northcutt, Later His Wife and My Grandmother

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President of the Future Farmers of America

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On the School Newspaper Staff with Barbara Ann Northcutt, Later His Wife and My Grandmother

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Posted January 2, 2016 by neatnik2009 in Crystal City Texas, Lloyd Glen Bishop 1940s

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Lloyd Glen Bishop, 1943-1944   Leave a comment

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Above:  My Grandfather’s Portrait in the Junior Section of The Javelin (1944), Crystal City High School, Crystal City, Texas

All Scans by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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My Grandparents, High School Sweethearts

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Posted January 2, 2016 by neatnik2009 in Crystal City Texas, Lloyd Glen Bishop 1940s

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Lloyd Glen Bishop, 1942-1943   Leave a comment

Javelin 1943 02

Above:  My Grandfather’s Portrait in the Sophomore Section of The Javelin (1943), Crystal City High School, Crystal City, Texas

All Scans by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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My grandfather’s profile in his senior year annual indicate his membership in the Future Farmers of America during his high school years.  Nevertheless, one might notice the absence of his name and the presence of his freshman year portrait in the sophomore year page for that organization.

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Lloyd Glen Bishop, 1941-1942   Leave a comment

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Above:  My Grandfather’s Portrait in the Freshmen Section of The Javelin (1942), Crystal City High School, Crystal City, Texas

All Scans by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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