He reminded me of my friend Estelle Carlson's husband in his last years, struggling with Parkinson's. At the same time, Estelle had been diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). She'd been my son's second grade teacher, an artist, weaver, designer, world traveler. I always blamed what happened to her (and to him, too) on the DWP electrical towers situated directly across from their house. Numerous articles have examined how radiation from EMFs can be harmful to those in close proximity, but it's one of those things impossible to prove. Walking by Estelle's old house on top of Mt. Washington, I'm struck by how much those towers dominate the skyline.
DWP electrical towers on top of Mt. Washington
During oral exams at school, Vivian was her usual convivial self, answering all the questions correctly, in proper grammatical English. We somehow got on the subject of Steve and she covered her mouth, like some women do when they laugh, but she wasn't laughing. She told me Steve was sick with Parkinson's. She blamed it on the chemicals he'd used in his silk screening business. She had to do everything for him now. Medicare only covered the cheap meds, which weren't effective, and she dreaded the day he'd lose his memory altogether. I sat there in my teacher's chair not knowing what to do, thinking, I could never do what she's doing. The next evening it all made sense. I was more attentive this time, helping Steve with the answers to give his wife a rest.
Steve and Vivian