Dancing Naked: Memorable Encounters with Unforgettable Texans
He sometimes walked away from the house and became lost. She slept with one eye open. Her nerves were frayed. She nursed a rash. Finally, after several years, his acute anxiety and sometimes combative behavior became more than she could physically handle. In , the family moved the rabbi to a permanent-care facility in Dallas. It was the first time Rolly had rested in months, but for her it was also the beginning of a five-year passage into despair. Rolly points to a cluttered desk stacked high with files and papers and says her life is like that—a jumble of neglected projects.
It's taken five years for me to want to get my house in order. She is seventy and coming home again, clearing the desk, making a life for herself. She volunteers at the Child Study Center, goes to Sabbath services, visits museums, and shops with friends. Once a week she makes the mile round-trip to see her husband in a Dallas care facility.
He is seventy-one. She gets there in time to feed him lunch and stays to straighten his closet and drawers. On a recent visit, her husband of forty-seven years sits hunched forward in a wheelchair when she arrives. She strokes his hair and kisses him. Bending close, she tells him that she loves him, then turns away to get his luncheon plate. A shadow of embarrassment seems to cross his face.
He leans forward and puts his head in his hands. It is a tiny glimmer of recognition, a slim understanding of what his life has become, but it is gone in a second and he sinks back into the dim world of Alzheimer's. A tear slides slowly down his cheek, a light flickers in his eyes, but it is gone in a second and his eyes are wide and vacant again. Just before she leaves for the day, she kisses him again. Are you in there?
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Do you hear me? I love you, Bob," she says. He straightens just a bit and then, as she walks behind his chair, he reaches forward. His arms open wide and then close as he embraces air—but it is over in a second, and he retreats quickly into himself again. Those little flashes are what one Alzheimer's expert calls "little miracles. As the disease takes its terrible toll, family members don't know where to put their hope.
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Rolly's life seems suspended, she says. She is forever waiting, but for what? She alone is the keeper of their life's story. She is the only one who recalls their childhood days in Cincinnati, Ohio. Only she remembers that first trip together to Coney Island when they were barely in their teens. Coming back, I sat here. He sat there. Only Rolly remembers Bob's decision to become a rabbi.
She was away at the University of Wisconsin, and their relationship had cooled. He was considering skipping college to go into the dress manufacturing business with his father, but Rolly wanted to marry a college man. He couldn't let her go and so he wrote her a letter.
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She remembers the war years and their decision to marry in She recalls their wedding day, the long white wedding dress, the young man waiting for her, the flowers, the cake, the reception. She shrugs. Life is full of unexpected turns. There were several moves, several congregations. Finally, in the s, they settled in Fort Worth.
The memories are good.
Her eyes sparkle. She laughs.
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Her hands dance before her. There are other happy stories and then she remembers a Sabbath dinner. The rain beats a melancholy rhythm against the windows as she tells the story. They were alone together. Fort Worth, Texas , U. Hidden categories: Webarchive template wayback links Articles with hCards. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Item location:. ThriftBooks Warehouse, United States. Ships to:.
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Item specifics Condition: Very Good : A book that does not look new and has been read but is in excellent condition. No obvious damage to the cover, with the dust jacket if applicable included for hard covers. May be very minimal identifying marks on the inside cover.