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Silver & Gold

July 6, 2015

By Mary Beth Wighton
I am emerging from a week long “FTD funk.” This is what I have termed as a Frontotemporal Lobe Dementia (FTD) induced mental fog. Symptoms of this disease such as lack of motivation, apathy, irritability, forgetfulness, poor decision making and difficulty in word finding descended upon me and warped my clear thinking – just like fog.

While in this fog, I realized what was happening. It is hard to describe it to someone who has not experienced it. I reached out to to a new friend who has dementia. In my email, I described to her my frustration with this fog. It was interesting, because just by writing to her, I felt a bit better. Her response with words of wisdom and an offer to be a sounding board helped in clearing my head.  This once again has reminded me of the importance of friends – young or elderly, new or old. When I was first diagnosed, my sister told me how I would meet new people who would help me in my journey. The wisdom of my older sister has proven true.

I am reminded of a childhood song: “Make new friends but keep the old, One is silver, the other is gold.” I remember asking my Mom what this ditty meant. She described it something like this: it is saying that new friends are valuable, like silver and old friends are a great treasure, like gold. Don't lose your old friends to new ones.

For some special friends, FTD is instrumental in developing yet another level of degree of friendship. Today, I will be attending a funeral. It is for a good friend of my in-laws who died in a motorcycle accident. This shocking death once again served as reminder of living for the day. He will not have said his good byes and ensured all was well with his friendships. He will not have had the opportunity to ensure things were in good order.

I do have the opportunity. It is something which is very important to me. 

My dear old friends – I love you. My new friends – love you, too. And to both, thank you for taking this journey with me. You are a good friend.