A Place To Dance

Posted on by Jeff Raught

A couple of years ago I saw my Dad wander his

way down the Alzheimer’s and Dementia road. While I heard many stories of how

bad it was to witness, to be honest, that was not my experience. Sure he

repeated some things and was unsure of others. He got a little fuzzy on who

everybody was, but it wasn’t that big of a deal. By the time he passed away at

eighty five (he would have been eighty six, but he was sick a year) it all

seemed quite normal.


While she has not been officially diagnosed with anything, Mom is traveling a similar

path. She gets more confused about recent details, and does not remember that

last time she talked with me. It could have been a day or three weeks. With

her, time is an odd companion. As day moves into evening, things are more,

well, befuddling. But this too I understand. We all know what the morning or

afternoon sun feels like. We see the changes of the shadows and know when day

is coming to an end. But nightfall, that’s a different story. When she peeks

out her window, 8:00pm appears no different than 11:30pm. In other words, I think

it all looks the same. The evening does not allow her to see as far as

she would like.


There are times more and more that I see her wander

off into the distant. I remember Dad doing this as well. I wondered what they

are looking for. And I don’t think it’s the past. At least it seemed like it

was much more than that. No it seemed as though they were yearning for something

more than simply memories.¬†After all, by the time you reach eighty, there’s too much to look back

on. From what I have experienced with each of them they were straining their

necks toward something else.


My parents were married for about twenty nine

years and divorced since 1981. They struggled to find a shared tempo in their

marriage. However the one place they got along wonderfully was on the dance

floor. Their favorite was the Jitterbug. If only the give and take of the

dance could have carried over in life. But, it was not to be. That’s just how

it is sometimes. Still that was the one time that they always seemed to smile.

When they parted ways in 1981 they also lost their dance partners.


I was working on a play recently called Coffee with

Crones and a line in the script mentioned a reference to the woman’s Mother.

“Mom has an extra set of marbles to play with these days” as she

referred to her own Mother’s journey with Alzheimer’s. And it got me to

thinking. I wonder where she goes and I wonder what he sees. Do they find a place

that is easier to be? Is that what happens? In a small gentle way,

do they wish for something that is easier than their present

circumstances? But know that it’s far too hard to find the words

anymore. And so all we see is a gaze.


So the melody started in my head and the words came

slowly pouring out. A trickle even. And I sat in the back of my van with Cindy

driving me down the highway….. and I wrote this:….




A Place to Dance (A song for the journey of the mind and heart)


And I wonder where she goes, I wonder what he sees.

Did they find a place, that is easier to be?


A place to dance. Without a worry or a care.

A place to dance. Where life is lighter than air.


And the band plays all her favorites, the old songs and the new.

Did she finally find a place to dance?




I listen to her story and wonder if it’s real. But who am I to disagree.

And the conversation wanders, I honestly don’t mind.

I know the words don’t come easy anymore.




And I wonder where they are, when they’re not here with me.

Did they find a place that is easier to be?


A place to dance. Without a worry or a care.

A place to dance. Where life is lighter than air.


And the band plays all her favorites, there’s music all night long.

Did she finally find a place? I see that smile upon her face.

Did she finally find a place to dance?




I’m not imaging the two of them dancing together as much as I am the

pure freedom dancing on its own gives. And that can be whether you know

how to dance or not. Sometimes your heart just needs to dance. Maybe you have

watched a parent or family member drift away from time to time. Perhaps

you have noticed they linger there a little longer. Take heart, it might not be

such a bad thing after all. Maybe just maybe, they have found a place to dance.


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