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If you're new to this blog and want some context for it, read this post from the day I announced my Alzheimer's disease and this post about the day I announced I had lost it. For more info, visit my website with my autobiography and all blog entries in chronological order for easier reading to catch up. There's also a sermon on the spiritual lessons I've learned through this journey through my damaged mind.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Letting Go

Washington DC
I have to give up the bookkeeping that I’ve been doing for our church community for the past ten years.

In addition to Marja’s and my personal bookkeeping, I also keep the books for our little housing co-op and for the church.  Reconciling our accounts the other night, I discovered I’d deposited one set of checks meant for our personal account into the co-op account.  It was not a big deal, and I could fix it easily.  But, as I wrote earlier, in December I also made a huge mistake in my church bookkeeping.  So this mix-up between our personal account and the co-op account is further indication that my capacities are declining.   The actual day-to-day details of the bookkeeping are not yet too difficult, but some of the other tasks that only the bookkeeper can do—spreadsheets, for instance—have felt too confusing.  A week or so ago, as I was trying to figure out how much money the church had in its regular account at the beginning of the year, I got confused between the regular account and the money market account.  That kind of thing is going to lead to more serious mistakes.  So I asked Kate Lasso several weeks ago if she would take over the books, told the church leadership team a week ago, and told the entire church this past Sunday.  I’ve begun to make arrangements to get everything transferred.

It seems unexpectedly easy to give up the task.  In fact, I keep surprising myself with how easy it’s been emotionally to give up different kinds of responsibility.  Part of it may be the apathy that is part of the disease, but mostly, I think, I’ve received an unexpected gift of being able to let go.  Even as I think about future kinds of control that I’ll lose (having to let Marja make our important decisions, for instance), it doesn’t seem to bother me as I would expect it to.  Of course, it may be completely different when the actual time comes to give those things up, but, at least for now, this is the season of my life to give things up, to live in a very different space that allows more to happen rather than requires me to make it happen.  I’m happy not to be in charge of so much.

The ease of it amazes me, actually.

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