Losing Touch…

See the source image

This incident happened  several years ago when we were shopping at our Walmart. It is sad to see anyone loose touch with reality. But when you see someone in public who appears to be lost and disoriented, it is very sad.  I wrote this poem after seeing a man like this as we were checking out. It was a very emotional experience to see this.

Losing Touch …The Point of No Return

He was wondering across the checkout lanes
At the local Super Wal-Mart
With a look of concern on his face
As he looked across the carts
He was unaware of his condition.
His pants were soaked and soiled
His only concern was to find his wife…
And surely she would come through soon
As I watched him move from lane to lane
My heart went out to this man
Who seemed not to know the state he was in
But had only one plan
I asked him if I could be of help
He said he didn’t think so
She would be coming through very soon.
And he wandered on down the row
I went to find a manager
Who could help him find his wife
But when we returned he had vanished
He was nowhere in sight
I still think about the old man not much older than myself
And wonder if he found her
And what it must be like
Not to know who you are
I cried many tears as I recalled
The empty look, the lack of concern
Unaware of the condition he was in
And for the mind that had grown dim
I wonder if I too will reach
That point of no return
The place where my only concern will be
Just to find the one I love

*************************

Photo from Edge Images: cbsnews .com

Advertisements

Black Holes

IMG_7030

This is an abridged version of my poem, Black Holes in the Brain, showing the effects of Alzhiemer’s disease on a person. During the stressful transition from independent living to confined living the confusion for my father-in-law was greatly increased. I posted his Wandering/Wonderings earlier this week.

Bjorn from d’Verse~Poets Pub asked us to consider the use of punctuation in poetry. It helps shoe line breaks and increases flow for the reader. This one is full of punctuation. It was written four years ago after working through this difficult transition.

Black Holes In My Brain

“I have come to discover that I now have black holes in my brain.
Spaces of emptiness that never get filled.
Like the holes in my pants pocket the memories slip out…”

“Oh, you are here? Well I didn’t realize! When did you get here?
You have been here a few weeks? Well I didn’t remember.
Tell me something I should know…
What shall we talk about…”

“Can I do something for you… do you need a light on?
Would you like to watch the News if I turn it on?
Do you want me to set the table for breakfast?
Can I help you in some way?
Would you like a piece of chocolate? Go ahead have one!”

“Is this Sunday? Are we going to church today?
Where is Mother & when is she coming home?
She won’t be coming back home? Oh my!
These are things I should remember.
When will we go to see here again? Can we go today?
We were there today?
Why can’t I remember? Were we just there today?!”

“I remember my grandfather was just like this.
He would apologize for his memory all the time.
I hope I never get that way.”

“By the way, where is Mother?

********************************************

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Join us at d’verse :  https://dversepoets.com

Note: This evening, after this had posted, we got word that he had died.

 

Wandering/Wondering

IMG_7028

The transition from living on your own to living in an Alzheimer’s  care facility is a real paradigm shift. My father in law struggled greatly with the confusion of loss and change. When his wife was diagnosed with a brain tumor and had to be placed in a care facility, it took longer for him to be placed. We took turns staying with him during that time. Not having his wife there with him and his onset of confusion created a lot of anxious moments for him. This is one example that occurred while I was sleeping in the living room.

Wandering/Wondering

“Oh, it’s you,” he said with a puzzled look

“I did not know you were here!”

This was the third time that night

“I just came out to make sure the door was locked.”

“When did you get here? ”

“We’ve been here for a week!”

*****************************************************

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Mish asked us to write a Quadrille of only 44 words and use the word Puzzle as our prompt. Come join us at d’Verse~Poets Pub.

https://dversepoets.com

Lost

EER_0695

What happens when things grow foggy and you no longer know who you are? A few years ago we were in Wal-Mart when I noticed a man who seemed lost and confused. Not only that, but he was obviously not in control of himself. He kept wandering back and forth through the lines. It was so very sad to see this man who was so out of touch with reality. This is my account of that incident.

Losing Touch …The Point of No Return

He was wondering across the checkout lanes
At the local Super Walmart
With a look of concern on his face
As he looked across the carts

He was unaware of his condition.
His pants were soaked and soiled
His only concern was to find his wife…
And surely she would come through soon

As I watched him move from lane to lane
My heart went out to this man
Who seemed not to know the state he was in
But had only one plan

I asked him if I could be of help
He said he didn’t think so
She would be coming through very soon.
And he wandered on down the row

I went to find a manager
Who could help him find his wife
But when we returned he had vanished
He was nowhere in sight

I still think about the old man not much older than myself
And wonder if he found her
And what it must be like
Not to know who you are

I cried many tears as I recalled
The empty look, the lack of concern
Unaware of the condition he was in
And for the mind that had grown dim

I wonder if I too will reach
That point of no return
The place where my only concern will be
Just to find the one I love

******************************

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Dad

 

EER_0294.JPG

Alzheimer’s is the thief that keeps on stealing, slowly robbing you of all things present and finally all things past. We just returned from a visit with my wife’s father, who has been confined in an Alzheimer’s unit 2500 miles away from us. Our visits are great while we are there. He keeps remembering less and less as he now turns 91. This poem shares some of my thoughts as I reflect on our time together.

Dad

Though your mind has grown dim

Your personality is much the same

A surprised smile when we arrive

Your desire for family information…

That will not stay long in your memory

 

Your warm smile and appreciation

Always there when we visit

Always there when the staff helps you

Always there when we say goodbye

 

While we are there your joy

Is new every morning

Pockets of the past are still filled

With memory coins slowly slipping out

Through that black hole in your brain

 

Our visits are joyful // you still get my jokes

You laughter is genuine and full

Though you still ask our names from time to time

You are present in the moment // a gift every time

 

In spite of all you have been through

You have adapted and applied Paul’s words,

“In whatever state I am in //

…there I will be content.”

You won’t remember any of this

When we’re gone

But you sure enjoyed our visit

While we were with you

*******************************************

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

 

His granddaughter Jen is walking for Justice to help  young girls caught in Sex trafficking. See her story on her blog at:

https://walkingthewayforjustice.wordpress.com/2018/04/19/cafe-calvary/

 

 

 

 

 

Fading Shades of Gray

Mother and Dad

Fading Shades of Gray  (a Hai bun)

Watching my father-in-law’s mind fade from shades of gray to black evoked a lot of emotion.  It became noticeable to my wife and me when we visited her parents in 2009. Driving us across Edmonton to the Science Center, he got mixed up and forgot how to get there. Apparently this happened before, because Mother had written the directions for him on index cards. Later she told us that one day he came out to the parking deck, after volunteering at the hospital and could not find his car. She kept tabs on him until 2012 when she developed a brain tumor.

Giving up his keys and driving privileges it was very hard on him, but the hardest thing for him to understand was when they were in separate care facilities. He would ask about her over and over, and could not quite comprehend what was happening. After she died, he kept expecting her to return. He is now 90 and seems to have adjusted to his confinement, even telling friends who visit that they should try to get a room there as well. He tells them that they take good care of him there.

Winter brain cells fade

Short term mem’ry turns to black

“Helen, Where are you?”

***************************************************

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Bjorn, at d’Verse~Poetry Pub asked us to write a Hai bun using the word gray. I chose to write on the graying effects of Alzheimer’s on the brain.

Visit us at: https://dversepoets.com/

Coals on the Hearth of Time

IMG_4147

Most of us know of someone who suffers from dementia. As we get older our minds sometime lose their short and long term memories. We got a first hand experience with this in 2013 when my father-in-law became debilitated from short term memory loss and had to enter a facility for Alzheimer’s patients. It is sad and difficult to watch this happen knowing there is no cure for it at this time. This poem reflects on memory loss and how it can affect us.

Coals on the Hearth of Time

Gone the fire once burning brightly

Life’s logs burned down to glowing embers

Slowly consumed white with age

Raging inferno of youth left behind

Dreams long lived slowly exit

Sifting out past memories

Coals of childhood smolder in the darkness

Warm glows grow dim on the hearth of time

Flickers are all that remain of a glowing life

Short bursts reappearing for a time

Flash paper memories

Lost in smoke of the dying embers

Clinkers from the past refuse to burn

“Where is Helen?”

Wondering why

Not remembering the question

Not knowing the answer

Repetitive memory now gone

Waiting Waiting Waiting

Remaining coals turn to ash

The fire dies

Losing Touch…The Point of No Return

Image result for super walmart

He was wondering across the checkout lanes

At the local Super Wal-Mart

With a look of concern on his face

As he looked across the carts

 

He was unaware of his condition.

His pants were soaked and soiled

His only concern was to find his wife…

And surely she would come through soon

 

As I watched him move from lane to lane

My heart went out to this man

Who seemed not to know the state he was in

But had only one plan

 

I asked him if I could be of help

He said he didn’t think so

She would be coming through very soon.

And he wandered on down the row

 

I went to find a manager

Who could help him find his wife

But when we returned he had vanished

He was nowhere in sight

 

I still think about the old man not much older than myself

And wonder if he found her

And what it must be like

Not to know who you are

 

I cried many tears as I recalled

The empty look, the lack of concern

Unaware of the condition he was in

And for the mind that had grown dim

 

I wonder if I too will reach

That point of no return

The place where my only concern will be

Just to find the one I love

Losing Touch   …The Point of No Return

 

He was wondering across the checkout lanes

At the local Super Wal-Mart

With a look of concern on his face

As he looked across the carts

 

He was unaware of his condition.

His pants were soaked and soiled

His only concern was to find his wife…

And surely she would come through soon

 

As I watched him move from lane to lane

My heart went out to this man

Who seemed not to know the state he was in

But had only one plan

 

I asked him if I could be of help

He said he didn’t think so

She would be coming through very soon.

And he wandered on down the row

 

I went to find a manager

Who could help him find his wife

But when we returned he had vanished

He was nowhere in sight

 

I still think about the old man not much older than myself

And wonder if he found her

And what it must be like

Not to know who you are

 

I cried many tears as I recalled

The empty look, the lack of concern

Unaware of the condition he was in

And for the mind that had grown dim

 

I wonder if I too will reach

That point of no return

The place where my only concern will be

Just to find the one I love

******************************

Photo: Web Image