I spend almost every Saturday with a dear friend's father who suffers from severe dementia. He can't recall his children's names or that he has grandchildren. He forgets the layout of his own house and sometimes forgets his own name. What is surprising is what he does remember.
He remembers that he loves his wife. He doesn't always know her name or how they met. He has no pictures in his mind of their wedding or the years they spent together. He has no memory of her but the love. He sees her picture and cries because he loves her. He insists that we go buy her flowers and picks pink roses because they are her favorite. He doesn't know her name, but he knows she likes the pink ones because they smell the best.
He remembers football. He knows that he played center in high school and that his number was 53. I ask him all the time, and he always knows this about himself. "I was number 53, the center." Right off the top of his head. He can't tell you who his friends were or that he was class president, but he knows enough to know that he had days of glory out there on the gridiron.
He knows he's a Sooner fan. We watch the game every week, and he can't follow it for more than a play at a time, but we always watch it and it always makes him happy when they win. He hums the fight song along with the band with every touchdown and knows he once watched them play Texas in the Cotton Bowl for the Red River Shootout.
This is what remains. Love and football. I'd say the old boy is doin' all right.