We walked in a snowstorm. When was that? Before or after the hospital? It must have been before. I wanted you to see the beauty of it. How clean it all becomes. How muffled the sound. The flakes clung to your brows and careened off your glasses. Through a smile thin and uneven, you whispered that it was beautiful. Unsteady, Mom and I walked on either side of you, holding your arms. I think I knew it was your last snowfall.

***

My dad, David Orr, was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s when he was 61 years old. I was 21 at the time. In the following years as I was beginning my adult life, his was was ending. After a week of being unable to eat or drink, my dad died surrounded by his family in the early hours of May 1st 2017. He was 67.


Here is a Poem is a book project that investigates my dad’s journey intertwined with my own. Alzheimer’s Disease is anything but linear. In its mist, memory can become a light dusting or a thick sludge, a blend of past, present, and future.


I never got to know my dad as an adult without the filter of the disease. The creation of this book also serves as an attempt to now get to know him in a way I was never able to.


Crowdfunding campaign slated to begin 2023.


A Father, a Son, a Disease and a Camera (an alternate version of this work) was published in the New York Times.

Here is A Poem

Cheney Orr © All rights reserved.
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