Rest Peacefully Now

All day I face
the barren waste
without the taste
of water.
Cool Water.

Dan and I,
with throats burned dry
and souls that cry
for water.
Cool, clear water.

The nights are cool,
and I’m a fool.
Each stars a pool
of water.
Cool, clear water.

And with the dawn
I’ll wake and yawn
and carry on
to water.
Cool, clear water.

The Shadows sway
and seem to say,
“Tonight we pray
for water.”
Cool, clear water.

And way up there
He’ll hear our prayer
and show us where
there’s water.
Cool, clear water.

Keep moving Dan.
Don’t you listen to him Dan.
He’s the devil not a man.
He spreads the burning sands
With Water.

Say, Dan can’t you see
that big green tree
Where the water’s running free?
It’s waiting there for you and me.

And water
Cool, clear water.

Dan’s feet are sore.
He’s yearning for
just one thing more
than water.
Cool, clear water.

Like me I guess
he’d like to rest
where there’s no quest
for water.
Cool, clear water

Cool Water by Hank Williams Jr.

I said goodbye to my mom on Wednesday evening.  She was surrounded by her children as her breath became soft and then left her completely.   I stayed with her a while in the stillness.  She came to me in my dreams last night, reassuring me that she’s alright.  She is Loved.

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Forget the Holidays

Spending the day with an Alzheimer’s sufferer is like being a witness to someone’s lucid dream. The world they live in makes sense to no one but them.

The Forgetting

 

My mother is losing her mind.

 

I can’t count the number of times, as a teenager, I must have claimed that while living under her roof – in typical teenage hyperbole.  Now, the statement is real – it’s adult.  My mother has mid-stage Alzheimer’s.

 

While flipping channels today, I came across a program on PBS called “The Forgetting” (2004) about the disease and its effects on the stricken as well as their loved ones. I curled up on the couch and cried as I watched it.  It could have been based on our family.

 

I’ve seen the progression of the disease first hand.  First, they forget simple things and chalk it up to old age.  Then, they lie about the things they forget – telling stories to convince themselves and their family that their mind is fine.  Now, my mother realizes something is wrong with her thinking.  “Why do I feel so weird”, she asks, “Why doesn’t my brain work”.  We explain to her, repeatedly, that it’s part of the disease of Alzheimer’s, but she doesn’t remember our explanations – the irony of the disease. 

 

One of the comments that hit close to home was a woman who has difficulty responding to the inevitable question, “How is your sister?”  She responds, “What am I going to tell you?  She’s losing her mind”.  I understand exactly how she feels. I know they mean well, but what am I suppose to say? Her mind is slowing disintegrating. We are losing her – there’s no cure and no miracle is going to happen. 

 

We have tough decisions to make in the years ahead.  I have fear that the disease could be my fate as well. I try not to think about it.  When we are together, we try to make our get-togethers as pleasant as possible for her, but she forgets within minutes.  Sometimes I wonder if it’s better that she can’t remember or comprehend what’s happening.