movie poster Somewhere In Time

A romantic time travel movie has this caregiver reminiscing the similarities with Alzheimer’s.


 January 17, 2014 —  If you saw the movie I doubt you’ll ever forget the intensity of their love.   Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymour together in a time travel romantic story that became a cult film classic.  No, neither of the characters had Alzheimer’s, but their experience is a mind-blowing concept.

There he was, handsome and suave, even without his Superman costume, but instead of being Clark Kent, Reeves’ protrayed a young man named Richard Collins who was celebrating his first writing effort at the college premier of his successful play.   Moving past his friends is an old woman who says simply, “Come back to me,” and at the same time gives him an old pocket watch which she had given him during another time and at another place.


So curiousity got the better of him.  Buying period clothes and shedding anything modern Richard hypnotized himself into time travel going  back to 1912 and the Grand Hotel where he met the beautiful actress Elise McKenna much to the annoyance of her manager who wanted nothing or no one to interfere with her budding career. But true love won out and the couple decided to marry.  First, though, she insisted he must have a new suit as the one he was wearing was dated and out of style.   Open for suggestion he remarked how much he liked the one he was wearing because of its numerous pockets.  Reaching deep into the corners of each pocket he emptied the contents only to bring forth a bright and shiny 1970s penny.


As she screamed out his name, the power that had allowed him to travel back through time  swiftly returned him to a  modern world and into his college life.  Years later as his continued success allowed Richard a respite from his work  thoughts about a possible past life and love filled his mind, and he physically  returns to the Grand Hotel where he meets Arthur, an aged bell hop, who was still on duty as he had been in 1912.  With Arthur’s help Richard searches through the old hotel registers and finds that he was, indeed, a guest those many years ago and after seeing Elise’s photo Richard remembers his love for her and longs to be with her again.

Back in his room Richard tries desperately to self-hypnotize and travel through time back to his love.  However, he is without sucess and is unable to make the journey.  The next day Arthur and the hotel manager find that he had expired – no doubt from a broken heart in his failed  efforts, but in the end the lovers are reunited in their afterlife.


I believe there are times when many of us wish we could time travel; back to some lovely memory we would enjoy reliving: a perfect day, event or even a moment.  But we do travel through time – not in the physical sense, but with memory we often day-dream ourselves back into that perfect time or place.   Alzheimer’s doesn’t allow its victim that kind of latitude and pleasure.

My friend, Bob, had written to me about the possibility of memory being stored elsewhere – like in cyberspace and our brain being the tuning mechanism which tunes in the memory like the radio of a car when you travel through the desert and you try to pull in a local station.  Lots of static, but there are times when it works and the station comes in loud and clear.  Could it be that Alzheimer’s does destroy the tuning mechanism so the victim is unable to bring in any memory, and what we hear from their lips is nothing much more than static.


If memory is stored elsewhere – cyberspace – it’s all right with me just as long as it’s there for recall.  With a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s I often notice his effort to concentrate and every once in a while he will add a name to his mumbling, and on occasion an instruction such as, “Loretta, (Ken’s sister) quick shoot him.”  That’s when he’s upset with his caregiver and wants him gone.  Certainly not Ken’s true personality, but more like a scene from an old “B” movie.


I have often thought about “Somewhere in Time,” and Elise seeing her Richard once again even though they were generations apart in age and saying to him, “Come back to me.”   If Ken and I were to meet somewhere in his Alzheimer’s world or in time or even space, I would say to him, “I miss you terribly.  Come back to me.”

Originally posted 2014-01-19 04:31:24.

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