Rose M. Schreiber
The years pass and I begin to become a better golfer.
I am younger than my friend, but that doesn't matter,
because she has more stamina. She has taught me so
much about the game, and I have watched her every move
to learn everything I could. I wanted to be a 3
handicap like her. I am only a 10 handicap after
her many years of teaching - but then I don't have the
same thing she has. I don't glide down the fairway
in slow motion like she does. I almost run to get to my
ball in order to hit it again. I am too anxious.
She has the love of the game - the soft caress of the
club, that makes her one with it and, in turn, one with
the ball. It is like watching love in motion.
I am too nervous, and agitated with my bad shots.
She handles them in stride, and just keeps going
forward. What a beautiful thing to watch this love
affair she has with the game of golf.
We both decide to move to Florida, so we can play golf
year round and each day till sunset. We enjoy our
years in Florida, playing on different leagues with lots of
great people; and meeting new friends, who enjoy the game as
much as my friend and I. We play in the hot summer
months and love it even more, because there are so few
players on the golf course - and you can hit two and three
balls. Friends come down from up north to visit us in
the winter months. (We have the cheapest place in town
to stay) It seems that we are living only to play golf
- which really isn't so bad, we both say. She loves it so,
and I love the competition with the other players.
Then one day - she doesn't remember where she hit the
ball. I don't think anything of it, because it is only
slightly off the fairway, although she usually is always in
the middle. We walk to her ball and I show her where
it is. A few months go by and I find I am beating her
at the game, where before she always beat me. Her
swing is the same, although maybe a little shorter
backswing. But she is still out driving me and still
is as graceful. Lately, though, she seems to be having
problems with keeping a score card, but says it is because
her eyes are not as good any more - so I leave it at that.
Then one night at the dinner table, we are talking about
the day's game, who we played with and telling each other
shot for shot what had happened. All of a sudden she
begins to stare into space, with a shaking of her head –
like a tremor. I try to get her attention, but I am
having trouble. I get right in front of her, touch her
shoulder and ask "are you all right?" She snaps out of
it and then says "yes, why?" I am frightened, because
I know something has happened with my friend. She
seems okay now, though, so we finish eating. (In the
back of my mind, I don't like what I saw.)
Later we decide she should be checked out; and after many
months of poking with needles, with scans of the brain and
other areas of her body, the doctors say it is a
Dementia-Alzheimer's type disease. She is devastated and
says I must put her in a nursing home. I say "NO",
that we will go through this together - it will be okay.