Over 10 years ago my dear wife began a voyage with dementia. We faced stormy seas. At some point we discovered Amy’s Place. A protected port in the storm.

There, I was helped to plot a course for Carol’s crossing of the angry sea, to circumnavigate some of the rocks and shoals, not all, but some. I found guidance and education as well as friendship and fellowship.

At first, I was apprehensive to open that front door, to open my heart, and to share my sorrow.

Now I find it a welcome respite. An oasis that, for just a while, I have an opportunity to NOT think. Not think of where this ship is going nor of when it may pull into its final port.

Amy’s Place is an island where I don’t have to explain, everybody there is a crew member on the voyage; we are on the same boat. Sometimes we loved-ones and family are mere passengers in a raging tempest, it may seem to us that no one is manning the tiller. There is no timetable, each passenger and crew member will view this voyage differently; and will trim the sails to different winds.

But, Amy’s place lets me catch my breath, perhaps see a landmark, get my bearings or stretch my legs on dry ground -even if just for a few minutes- before I return to stand my watch.

It is sometimes a lonesome and painful duty, but I know that my shipmates at Amy’s Place are always there to share an oar with me, help me bail the bilges and throw me a line when I am nearing the rail.

– Kenneth Kinney