According to Albert Einstein, “Imagination … is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”[1]

images-3It was late afternoon when my doorbell rang. I peeked carefully out the window and there stood a clean-cut young man. I thought, “Uh oh, a magazine salesman,” but something moved me to open the front door anyway.

“Hi, My name is Mikhail.” He turned slightly to point behind him at the sidewalk steps leading up onto the walkway to our front porch. “I’ve long admired those steps and I’m wondering if it would be all right to stand on them next Saturday when I propose to my girlfriend?”

“Whaat?” That wasn’t what I’d expected him to say. Far from it! “You want to propose on the steps leading up to our walkway?” Was I hearing correctly? This was a first!

“Yes, ma’am. I’m wondering if I might propose on your steps.” He patiently repeated hisIMG_0381 request. Our unusually wide steps do have a rather unique finish, stencil-painted to resemble red brick.

The conversation continued, the details worked through and the agreement confirmed. While a photographer would be hiding beneath the drooping branches of a nearby over-sized pine tree, he’d walk by our house around dusk with his girlfriend, stop on our steps and pop the question.

Near twilight on the following Saturday, I confess that my husband and I discreetly observed the two of them standing at the top of the steps beside our lamppost. From our vantage point in the dining room, we watched as he bent down on one knee. Based on her reaction, it was clear her response was affirmative. We never learned her name and haven’t seen them again. However, the scene lingers in my mind.

I looked at those steps and saw…steps. This young man looked at my steps creatively, with imagination.

Unknown-1Imagination has accompanied man’s journey throughout time and when imagination meets science, innovation is kindled. Inventions occur. Discoveries are made. Cures are found. I sincerely believe that when the key that unlocks the door to a cure for dementia is uncovered, it will involve not only science, but also imagination. I imagine the dementia riddle will be solved by someone who thinks outside the box…someone who visualizes potential solutions in a different way, using cultivated ingenuity and creative thought. The world of imagination is truly unlimited. Imagine a world without dementia. Imagine…


  1. Viereck, George Sylvester (October 26, 1929). “What life means to Einstein: an interview”. The Saturday Evening Post.

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