One of my favorite writers is T.S. Eliot. When I first read his classic The Waste Land I was stunned by the imagery and creativity that he used. The poem was like no other, and in my opinion it still is. His ability to collect thoughts, ideas, music, and memory in a written work made the piece a fascinating mosaic. In my personal experience, watching someone go through the maze of Alzheimer’s Disease is very much like The Waste Land. At first there is confusion and then a sense of clarity and understanding emerges.
She is scared
She doesn’t know why
So am I
What lies in the shadows?
I remember when she wasn’t so lost
I wasn’t lost then
I hold her hand in the dark
But she can’t remember..
“Did you get your money? I was always worried that you wouldn’t?”
“Sometimes you just have to let them stew in their own juices,
If that doesn’t take, then let them go.”
I wonder if she will remember me?
She forgets the names, faces, and places
We are a collaboration of colors in her masterpiece
I hope I am in green
She is a shell of her former self
And I grab on to her coat tails and go for the ride
“How much is that doggy in the window? The one with the wagging tail?”
“Maybe you should write a story about it, and then read it to me?
I said “I don’t want to, it will take forever.”
“We all don’t have forever.”
“I love the holidays it’s the only time that I feel my family is together, whatever family I have left that is.”
I watched her in the doorway
Eyes lit with unshed tears
The tree was up and lit like always
The ornaments her children had made
And her children’s children
“Christmas in Killarney where all the folks are home…..”
“I am dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones we used to know
Where the tree tops glisten and children listen….”
She has her hand against her chest in a sigh
It is the tree of strength
It is grandpa
It is a monument to our family
It reminds me of the years past
She exclaims at last
“It is the most beautiful tree I have ever seen, Kaite.”
I am a shadow hidden by the shade
I watch her fade away
Why is it so clear to me
She wants to remember
It is beyond her now.
Thin and failing body
Lost and forgotten soul
A woman who had such a voice
Like thunder rolling in on a tropical storm
Is silenced by mortalities curse, age.
“We sold her house today.”
I remember when the house was alive
Breathing with a heart beating
The people that went in and out gave it strength
We were its life.
She would sway across the living room floor
“Dancing cheek to cheek…”
Laughing as she would plie’ into the kitchen
Green fades with beige and white
Blue like the couch, and black like the night
She is in my dream on the ground
I can not tell if she’s alive
She is face down into the gray carpet
I am running through the door
The faster I run the father away she is
I am hopeless
To Be Continued..