Memories Are Meant to be Shared by Craig Fuller


Those of us who have this periodic opportunity to share something of ourselves with readers of the Spy in our commentaries reveal, when we are at our best, insights about what moves us, concerns us and commands our focus.

Karen and Craig Fuller

Because of a moving message from a former colleague who read my last piece about the AOPA 80th anniversary in Frederick, Maryland, I worked for a couple weeks organizing my thoughts around memories. I’ve focused a fair amount on memories over the past few months and so that was to be the topic of my column.

Then things changed. During the past few days my sole focus has been on memories of Karen and our 38 year journey together. For, as the first of July arrived, so, too, did Karen’s final days.After seeing two close friends last Friday, Karen has been at home here on Trippe Creek in a peaceful and comfortable sleep.

Over preceding months, our friends have shared memories and photographs from the past and I marveled at how these memories energized and cheered Karen and me!

The path we have been on that began with mild cognitive impairment a few years ago, moved to dementia and about 2 months ago the process accelerated. While Karen could not be as active as she had been, the pleasure from conversations by phone and in person or from emails I’d read her helped keep her going and keep her smiling.

Karen has just about come to the end of the path she’s on. However, among the many lasting lessons she provided to me over our 38 years together is that memories are meant for sharing.

Let someone know what you remember most about a pleasant adventure. You will feel better. And, I guarantee your friend will feel better.

Given the complications and details consuming my time, my column was cut short. However, my path going forward will most certainly include regular commentary in the Spy.

Craig Fuller served four years in the White House as assistant to President Reagan for Cabinet Affairs, followed by four years as chief of staff to Vice President George H.W. Bush. Having been engaged in five presidential campaigns and run public affairs firms and associations in Washington, D.C., he now resides on the Eastern Shore with his wife Karen.

Letters to Editor

  1. Christine Martin says

    I was so moved by the author’s sharing this very touching and personal account of what is also a very private time. His advice is a gift to those of us with family or friends on a similar journey. One gets so frustrated by an inability to help (which for many of us translates into “fix”) that we can forget how helpful the simple things can be.

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