Where are You?

“Helen, where are you! When are you coming home. I miss you, please…let me know when you return. I will be down in Bruce’s room watching Wheel of Fortune.”

Paul wrote these notes carefully and neatly on the back of the napkin he brought back from the dinning room. His mind smoky, his focus clouded, he thought to himself, “Reading what I have just written, I now believe she may be gone for good.” His mind soon clouded again as he leaned back in his recliner.

In the time since he moved into his new apartment, he had not seen his wife Helen. He could not imagine where she might be. She might come through the door at any time. Day after day he waited and wondered. He left notes for her, in case she returned, while he was out, but to no avail.


Today at d’verse, Lillian is guiding our Prosery. Prosery is where we take a given line from a poem and incorporate that line into a prose piece of only 144 words. Today she asked us to include the line: “Reading what I have just written, I now believe” taken from Louise Gluck’s Faithful and Virtuous Night and her poem Afterwards.

I decided to write my piece about the emotions and feelings of one with Alzheimer’s disease. Eight years ago my father-in-law had to be confined to a care facility in the weeks following Christmas. Although he seemed to adjust well to his new environment, not being with his wife was very traumatic for him. This is a glimpse of that time. Although we took him to see her, he did not remember after he was back at his residence.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

57 thoughts on “Where are You?

  1. You’ve written eloquently about the plight of those with this insidious disease. This stage of the disease you write in here, the person still “knows” their loved one….but does not remember she has been there even though perhaps, she has just left. As the disease progresses, the person can also look at the “visitor” and still be expecting the loved one, not recognizing the “visitor” is the loved one. It is such a tough tough disease to maneuver through — both the the individual suffering from the disease in its early days and really, until they have no memory whatsoever of others; and for the loved ones who must watch in horror.
    Thank you for writing about this.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Oh god, this breaks my heart so much. You write this with grace and beauty, allowing the perspective of what one can go through with Alzheimer’s. It’s also quite stirring and extremely well written.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. My father-in-law died on Christmas Eve. He had been in a terrible car accident, and it brought on dementia. He was a minister and teacher, and a former Marine Medic on Okinowa during WWII.His outfit had 90% casualties.Your poem sparks my memories of him and his tragic demise in a Retirement facility.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. This touched my heart and left me in tears. My mother had Alzheimer’s, and after my father was gone she did not remember the funeral and was convinced that he left with “some guys” and would be back. I showed her the obituary clipping, we drove past the cemetery and she saw the headstone, but still she was convinced he’d be back with “those guys” any day. It was such a painful time. You penned it beautifully.

    Liked by 6 people

  5. What a wonderful piece of text Dwight. It’s not easy to write meaningful and with compassion about Alzheimer or any harsh dissease. Reading the above comments a lot of people have seen the devastating effects of Alzheimer. My beloved aunt suffered from it. Maybe when the blinds of social correctness are up one gets to see the true person. In the beginning of the illness my aunt cooked enorrmous portions of food, being left everywhere in her house, getting stale of course. When asked why, she said: We got asylum seekers in our village nowadays. If they are in need of food, I can feed them. Later she only was sad and later still she just was silent.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thank you Peter for your caring comment. It seems every case is different. Some are more affected than others. He knew who we were and enjoyed the visits almost until his time of death. It is very sad to see them decline so drastically. Thank you so much for you kind response and for sharing your experience as well!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. This is very touching, and sad. To have cultivated those lifelong memories only to have a fog invade them every now and then it’s just not fair to ones lifetime, but sadly it can happen.
    You have conveyed it very clearly, shows how helpful we still are in hands of fate.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. A heartbreaking tale, and a heartbreaking experience to live through, to lose someone in this way. My grandma had vascular dementia but it was very slow acting so we did not lose her completely before she died, and I’m grateful for this.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Well done, Dwight.My grandmother lived with us for years and then lived with us for even more years even though she wasn’t really sure who we were.
    You capture that ambiguity well here. Congrats.

    Liked by 1 person

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