Not Honest! (Plus a Prayer Request)

Image result for images of m.r. james

Patty and I wanted to watch a ghost story last night; and, lo and behold, we found a movie treatment of M.R. James’ Oh, Whistle and I’ll Come to You, My Lad, one of the best ghost stories ever written. There’s a 1968 version starring Michael Hordern as the intellectual know-it-all who gets a very rude awakening, but this new one is longer and stars another great actor, John Hurt.

But first we read the viewer comments.

It turns out there’s no ghost in this rendition, and no freakin’ whistle, either. Instead, it’s a story of dementia. All they did was lift the title–not honest! The story in the movie has nothing to do with the one M.R. James wrote. So we didn’t watch it.

Sorry, but dementia is very much wanting as a source of entertainment, especially when it’s eating up certain members of your family. My brother-in-law, Ray, has it: has it bad. Because it’s not possible to get his permission to divulge any of the details, all I can say is that he needs our prayers. I mean, he really needs them, and I ask you to join me in offering prayer on his behalf. Please, Lord, in Jesus’ name, do something to help him!

I know you can’t copyright a title, but this goes beyond just “based on” and is a highly blameworthy attempt to trick the audience.

Meanwhile, we thank you for your prayers.

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations. View all posts by leeduigon

13 responses to “Not Honest! (Plus a Prayer Request)

  • Phoebe

    I pray for you and your family every day, Lee. And I understand the agony of watching a loved one succumb to dementia. My mother went through dementia. The last year was a nightmare. Sometimes I think standing at the foot of the Cross is harder than hanging on it ourselves.

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  • Erlene

    I still have Ray in my prayer journal, and will keep him in prayer. The way my mind is working these days, I may be in the early stages of Alzheimers
    myself. It is like a computer that is so over loaded that it is getting slower and slower. It is very annoying. I had a very quick mind just a few short years back, but… it is slower. I will keep Ray in prayer.

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    • leeduigon

      Thanks, Erlene. We just heard he was hospitalized this afternoon. Well, maybe they can do something for him there.

      As for our minds–hey, we have an awful lot of stuff piled up there, it’s bound to take more time to go through it to find one particular item.

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  • UnKnowable

    Dementia seems to be Flavor of the Month in the entertainment world, now and then. It’s a terrible thing. I’ve lost relatives to it, including an uncle who was a tower of strength and wisdom for our family before being stricken.

    Two friends are currently dealing with wives whom have the disease and it’s heartbreaking to watch. In one case, they have had to separate, because the wife alternates between passionate love for her husband and outright hate. The poor fellow is about as lost as can be, because of it.

    Erlene, I don’t think you have much to worry about. Slowing down a bit and even some forgetting is a natural consequence of age, but doesn’t necessarily mean Alzheimer’s. Your comments and participation here are certainly valuable.

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  • Erlene

    Thank you very much, Unknowable. It is just discouraging to search my mind for a “well known” bit of information and have it come so slowly (if at all). I am just hanging in there and remembering my life is in God’s hands.

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    • UnKnowable

      The people I’ve known with dementia had a lot more than memory issues. Dementia, especially Alzheimer’s, tends to distort perceptions. My opinion is that a person with Alzheimer’s goes between waking consciousness and a dream state fluidly. If you’ve ever fallen asleep and went from perceiving the world around you and directly into a dream which begins in reality but quickly moves to something unreal, that is quite similar to what I’ve seen with Alzheimer’s patients.

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      • leeduigon

        Erlene, as we get older, we naturally have a harder time locating individual “files” among the millions stored in the brain. Dementia, as members of my family have experienced it, involves deep and thorough delusions and often violent behavior which they can’t control.

        Anyway, all of us here love you and respect you and profit from our fellowship with you: and you are in my prayers, daily.

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        • UnKnowable

          Well stated, Lee.

          This is no more than an opinion, but I think that the roots of dementia are quite deep. In the case of my own mother, there were behavioral changes which showed up in her late fifties and grew over the next thirty years. Something was clearly wrong by the time she was 62 and her behavior was definitely moving in a new direction. Her work ethic and sense of responsibility slipped away and were replaced by a lot of wishful thinking. By her mid seventies it was hard to believe that she had ever been an accountant managing large sums of money.

          Having trouble recalling certain things is a quite different matter. We remember basically every significant thing that happens in our life, but that builds up quite a lot of data which has to be sorted and indexed to be of use. When I was 10 years old, I could remember pretty much my entire life, because there wasn’t all that much to remember. Now in my early sixties, I don’t always recall details I used to recall easily. Is this something with which to be deeply concerned? I would say not. The brain works in a unique fashion and indexes memories for recall. Old data, which is hardly ever accessed, becomes harder to locate. This isn’t a failure, it’s purely mathematical. The same thing happens with computers.

          As Lee mentions, Dementia involves delusions. People with dementia distort reality and try to mold it to their delusions. One friend, whom I mentioned in an earlier post, is married to a woman with serious dementia. She has it in her mind that her husband cheats on her constantly, even though he is not at all that sort of man and himself suffers from impotence (which would make it difficult to cheat, even if he wanted to).

          This delusion, on her part, comes out of nowhere. One minute things are fine, the next minute she’s shrieking at him for cheating. All of it occurs ONLY in her imagination. Minutes after a verbally, and sometimes physically, violent outburst she will come back to “normal” and speak of her husband in loving terms. For his own safety, he is now forced to live apart from her.

          I’ve seen Schizophrenia up close and it’s not a pleasant sight. In advanced stages, dementia can be just as severe. The amazing thing is that a well cared-for Alzheimer’s patient, especially if they are not subject to a great deal of mental stimulation, can live quite happily. By the end of her life, my mother was quite content in the world of her imagination and seemed to do best when left in the hands of her caregivers.

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    • Phoebe

      Sometimes, when I forget a name or a line of poetry that I’ve recited all my life, or when I walk into a room and can’t remember what I’ve gone there for, I remind myself that I’ve been doing things like that all my life but never really thought much about it because I wasn’t afraid, then, of “getting old and losing it.”

      Sometimes I like to turn the idea around to something positive: Old age is great because now I have an excuse for all the clumsy, forgetful, and stupid things I’ve been doing all my life.

      I don’t mean to minimize the worry. I, too, find myself having more and more trouble getting what I want out of the over-packed suitcase of my brain. But when I was younger, there was so much less to forget….

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  • Linda Sorci

    You and your family are in my prayers daily, Lee.

    Dementia is a cruel disease. We watched it devastate my dad’s mother and our family, and as it progresses, it becomes more and more debilitating.

    There’s a movie from 2004 dealing with this disease, in case anyone hasn’t seen it – “The Notebook”, starring James Garner and Gena Rowlands. Tender. Bittersweet. Excellent! I highly recommend it – and keep your tissues handy.

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