Do you see hearts in rock?
I am as happy as I am going to be
for a while
I’ve let you go
disbelief for a day
you were so loving
more loving than anyone ever before
angel to demon
you have decided
to be a hermit
to do what you want
I let you go
and with my blessings
I want you to be happy
I am as happy as I am going to be
for a while
What do you see?
After my mother died I really struggled, partly because I was in the midst of a divorce and felt like a massive failure. I did not like myself. But I kept thinking about my mother and how much she hid: and eventually I thought, you know, I love all of my mother. Even the stuff she hid. If she is lovable then so am I.
What is lovable in your parent? And would you miss her/him if she/he were truly gone?
That is the hard thing for me, that I couldn’t think about that until she was dead. With my sister, I thought about it before she died and changed how I behaved and let her know when I disagreed with her. Even though she had cancer.
Isn’t the greatest gift we can give each other loving honesty? I love you and I disagree with you and I am not going to do what you want just because you (are my mother/are my father/have cancer/have emphysema/want it/are dying). Isn’t the greatest gift to be ourselves and take the flack for it?
Cucumber love is a poem I wrote more then ten years ago about dropping the exoskeleton that we wear for society’s and our family’s approval. It takes courage. You can drop a little piece at a time and let them get used to it. And yes, some people may reject you for good. That is their choice. But you have to ask yourself then, did they ever really love you or did they only love to control you?
They say they love you
And they do
One day you find yourself
Wearing a construct
You can move
You built it slowly over years
Because that’s what you were told to do
You wanted to be loved
It made you feel safe
There is praise
Or at least pressure to keep it on
You may not have known it was there
And slowly begin to feel
Who you really are
Awaken to the shell
One day you slip out
They are still saying how much they love you
To the empty construct
You watch bemused
For a while
You say “That isn’t me.”
“Of course it is,” they say
“I’m over here,” you say
Shock and outrage
“That’s not you!
You’ve changed, you’re depressed
Confused, manic, gone out of your mind!”
Off the deep end
You might even go back in to
the construct for a little while
But now you’ve tasted freedom
You won’t be able to stand it for long
You will be out soon
Some people will see you as you really are
Some people will tell you they still love you
But as they say it to the construct
They act as if you’re still wearing it
They still think you love cucumbers
Though you ate that dish once to be polite
They hold the construct in their minds
Even after you’ve destroyed it
And behave the same as they ever did
As you walk away
You will wonder who they loved
This is about memory loss.
One of my patients eventually had to have her husband admitted to memory care. He was falling, he was angry, he outweighed her by 50 pounds and he was incontinent. When he fell, she could not get him up.
She went to our hospital Grief Group and came to see me, angry.
“They said he’s still alive!” she snarls. “I got mad and said, no, my husband is gone! He just left his body!”
“I’m so sorry.” I say. “I am sorry that they don’t understand.”
“I’m selling his stuff.” she says. “I don’t have any use for Ham Radio equipment. And HE doesn’t EITHER, now.”
She stomps out. I am sure she cried too.
That is how I think of Alzheimer’s. Neurons burning out from the present to the past. When the person can no longer talk, they are close. Then they are in the womb and stop eating.
Let them go, let them go, god bless them. Where ever they may be. You may search the wide world over but your memory person is free….
… your oxygen tank doesn’t QUITE match the turquoise of your outfit. Dang. And it’s not a great photograph. And the mirror has water spots. And your hair needs combing. And you aren’t wearing “yipstick”. And you don’t care….
Yep. Missing a friend right now. Sigh. Miss talking regularly and hugs. I miss talking with my patients and hugs! I missed hugs all through covid! It has sucked!
Virtual hugs to you all.
Maybe I will go lie face down in the yard and hug the grass. The stupid deer won’t let me hug them. I did touch a bird yesterday. I had a fledgling in my yard, a pine siskin. It had taken a bath in the birdbath and was all fluffed and asleep with it’s head tucked under it’s wing, on the edge of the birdbath. If I still had a cat, it would have been eaten. Boa Cat is buried in the back yard, sigh. Anyhow, the fledgling woke up and paniced and started moving around the yard. It went out into the neighbor’s driveway. I went around and dropped a piece of cloth over it and gently picked it up in the cloth and put it back in my fenced yard. Later it was stupid again. This time I just came and tried to shoo it back to the yard. Marginally safer as far as cats go, but at least it won’t get run over by a car. It wouldn’t shoo until I touched it gently. Then it hopped a little. It got back in the yard eventually. Hopefully it will figure flying out pretty quickly or else I won’t see it again.
Friends are still friends even when they part. I miss friends that I’ve lost, awfully. Wrote a poem called missing yesterday. I don’t feel quite like publishing it yet. Too raw.