When we're together, I look in your eyes and...nothing.
That glimmer that was once there, now is gone.
Sometimes I wonder if you even know my name,
what time it is... yesterday... what's been done.
Your mind seems so clouded and confused;
you sit and try to understand.
I even wonder what it is that's left of you:
a blank face, behind a smiling mask.
Some days are good days,
others are bad.
The Alzheimer's has control.
Then, it seems to have disappeared.
You don't understand
and you strike at me,
seem to realize the reality,
and you're sorry, no longer mad.
We walk, precious moments, in the park,
even though you're winded fast.
I look to these times in the dark,
when you think it's morning, ready to start anew.
It's strange, how you once cared for me,
and now it's I who cares for you.
Each moment of needed sleep I stay away from you,
I feel relieved, but guilty. I'm not there...
You often walk the halls,
something's troubling you.
If I ask, and you speak, I don't understand.
Your voice is mumbles, gasps, and even stranger sounds.
Oh how I wish that I could ease the pain.
The world you once knew has crumbled, fallen down.
The time has come
for us to part.
If I had one wish come true,
it would be: you'd find the love I have for you.
But this unseen killer with the booming voice
has called, and taken you away.
One last time, I whisper in your ear,
"I love you mama, and I know you love me too."
Copyright © 1997 William Smiley
Used with permisson of the author.
William wrote to me several months ago about using my
page as a reference for a report on Alzheimer's that he
was writing for school. Recently I heard from him again, and he
shared this poem, which he wrote as a part of his report.
His grandmother had Alzheimer's, so he, along with the rest of us,
says this "hits home". Thank you William, for caring, and for
sharing this with us all.
Email William at: firstname.lastname@example.org