Sunday, March 20, 2016

DISTANT MEMORIES Like water seeping through a crack

Distant Memory


The freedom of packing
at a moment’s notice
Easy as pie 

Developing an idea
step by step,
Fine tuning,

Click the “on” button
slide in the VHS tape
Wind the cuckoo clock
And flush the . . . wait . . .

Forgotten are the days of
remembering everything in
Some semblance of order.
****  ****  **** 

Watching a loved one search in confusion for a word or a simple thought that has escaped them quickly turns from impatience, to heart-rending empathy, to acceptance. However, I do not accept the belief that a person with dementia does not realize there is a problem with memory.
As the difficulty with remembering progresses, a feeling of panic creeps in. Slow awareness of a loss of control morphs into fear of helplessness. This creates anger. After a lifetime of toiling and struggling to maintain control of who you are and how you live, it is impossible to sit idly by and watch all that hard effort drain away.

Like water seeping through a crack
at the bottom of a brick well,
forever lost to the sands of time,
nothing can stop or even slow
the progress of memory loss
to the satisfaction of its owner. 

Imagine realizing that, one day, memories of walks along the riverbank and Sundays in the park will no longer exist. Familiar and loving faces may slowly melt away, replaced by “strangers” leaning close to whisper, “Do you know who I am?” 

Denial replaces acknowledgement. “I put it right here. Someone must have moved it.”

Confusion brings tears. “Why is the dryer running with nothing inside?”

Humor easies the pain of loss. “Don’t mind me, I have Alzheimer’s.” 

Accept that we all reach a moment when: forgotten are the days of remembering everything in some semblance of order.



  1. It is sad to watch the memories slip away, as happened with those of my mother-in-law (dementia) and after his cardiac arrest a year and a half ago, also those short term memories have eluded my hubs. He doesn't remember Paris, but he remembers me and other family members. Don't wait to get those memories written down. They do have an expiry date.

  2. Yes, I agree! Mom went through all the stages of memory loss. She was able to deal with the early stages with a sense of humor. I am sorry for your experiences. Luckily, forgetting Paris is acceptable in the wake of family memories!

  3. This was beautiful. My mother-in-law died in 2012. She reverted back to total babyhood, laying in fetal position for 2 years before she passed.

    In the 10 years that she was in the home, her daughter never came to visit. Within seconds of Ella coming into her room and calling 'mom', she passed. Somewhere inside she was still there. She was waiting for her daughter.

  4. Shelly, God does work in mysterious ways. We can only watch and wonder. Thanks for visiting.


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