Memories of Ocrakoke - Getting There, An Alzheimer Journey

This is an excerpt from some journaling I did this past weekend.  A lot of reflection and healing took place. "The last time I was here, the only time, was about two years ago. It was somethng I had wanted to do with the outer banks.

The wind is kicking up and the weather forecast says possible thunder storms, yet the brightness of the sun is peaking through the holes in the clouds, as if to say, “Come on.”  Two dogs are determined to take each other to task.  We board the ferry in about a half hour.  The cars are lining up one by one.

Everytime I close my eyes I see a vision of a tall, thin man with a white knit shirt and ragged khaki shorts.  He’s standing straight and watching me as I  walk away from him along a white- duned sandy beach. I recognize the beach.  It’s Ocrakoke. The man has dark hair.  The only thing dark on him.

I remember that day two years ago.  I remember it with yearning, but not.  A walk along the sand was all I could do while I expressed my frustration.  I didn’t understand why he wouldn’t move with me.  I thought it was stubbornness.  The memory seems cloudy now.  I can’t quite grasp it.

There’s something telling me to turn around.  I’m trying, little by little, to move forward on my own.  Somehow, I think by revisiting places we’ve been, I‘ll be able to process his not being with me.  I want to turn around and go find him, but I know he won’t be there.  The soul that was my mate has, or is, leaving his body.  His body is now bones, but his essence exists.

The cars are beginning to be loaded.  The gray green water looks fairly smooth but the clouds are gray too and darker gray and moving fast.  Their shadows leave racing spots of sun across the pavement.

There will be lots of people on Ocrakoke Island.  This ferry holds 60 cars, plus there are bikers, the peddling kind.  Now that I am on board, I’m getting anxious to see what lies ahead.  The desire to turn back is all but gone.  The sun is coming out. There’s the horn.  We’re moving out of port."

There are lots of couples on this boat.  The younger couples have water bottles and dogs.  They seem more playful.  The older couples are wrapped up with the wife leaning on the edge and the man’s arms around Jerry use to do with me.  More seasoned with a need to touch.  I see a young girl standing near the side, up on a piece of anchor where the ropes tie up.  She’ s leaning against the edge.  She just let go of the side and held her arms out, like Rose on the Titanic.  Her arms didn’t stay out for long, but for a moment, I bet she thought she was Rose."

“There’s been a bird that has followed us the entire way.  It catches a gust of wind and floats on it just ahead of the boat.  He tosses up and down, back and forth but seems to be in complete control.  The sky s beginning to clear up.  The heavy clouds are behind us.  You can see the banks of rain in the far distance.  Up ahead, there is a glistening.  I think it’s an island. "