The Daily Calendar

One thing we all know about Alzheimer’s is that every moment of every day of every week of every month of every year is overwhelmingly repetitive.

  • You hear the same questions. (Where am I? Who are you? Is my mother alive? What do I do now? Who am I married to? I don’t have kids, do I? Where are the babies? Whose dogs are these?)
  • You watch the same frustrating inappropriate behavior. (My mom wore a bathrobe to her adult day care last week. Oh, she’d be so humiliated if she were really herself.)
  • You cringe at the same demands. (Take me home. Quit telling me what to do. I want to go home . . .  NOW! even though they are home.)
  • You experience the same feelings of frustration when they wander, pace, trace their finger over imagined objects, look confused, struggle for words, and/or get lost.

In addition to this blog, I also have a poetry blog called Writing On the Sun. One of my favorite poetry prompt sites,Poetic Bloomings, served up a challenge today to write a week of haiku, highlighting a week of days in a string of seven haiku.  Anything is fair game, so I wrote what happens (and has happened) every day of every week of every month for the past four or five years of my parent’s life.

In my poem below, I think  I failed to capture a couple of things:

1. That their days are like the movie Groundhog Day. The same ol’ same ol’.

2. They express their frustration at their failing health by remembering the past and in prayers to leave this world NOW and meet God in heaven. The present is the past and the future. Not the present.

Here’s my offering for “WHAT A WEEK IT WAS!”

The Daily Calendar

THE DAILY CALENDAR
by J.lynn Sheridan

DAILY

Old sergeants wrestle.
Against time and providence.
Playing hide and seek.

He prays for heaven
Weary of daily battles
The sunrise cheats him.

She prays to go home.
Lost inside her tangled mind.
Asking her own name.

Another phone call.
Another question of time.
Searching the shadows.

Remembering 1953

White lace and diamonds.
Home sweet home and hearth to hearth.
Her beauty thrilled him.

NIGHTLY

A flirt with morning
Lost dreams teasing me.
Insomnia’s gift

Neighbor’s chickens squawk.
Red fox prowler on the hunt.
Thieves hide everywhere.

~~~

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The Slow Forget. In Color

THE SLOW FORGET. IN COLOR.

c. J.lynn Sheridan 2014

The autumn leaves whirl in the center of the streets.
We’re taking her for a Wednesday drive around town to
see the Autumn colors. She says they are pretty.

It’s warm for October but she’s bundled in her winter
coat, buckled in the back seat licking her chocolate ice cream.

She’s hasn’t been away from home in weeks and she
seems nervous asking question after question wondering
where we are, asking whose ice cream she is holding.

My daughter and I smile and tell her it’s hers. She is surprised.
Then asks us whose ice cream she is holding. We tell her
again. She smiles and says oh, you did say that, didn’t you?

This is the slow forget that teaches us to be sweet-natured.

We had driven down to see her after lunch and were surprised
to find her still in her jammies and robe at one-thirty in the
afternoon. It is now three-thirty. It had taken her two hours

to get dressed. She kept forgetting what she was doing.
I think she’s wearing the same thing she wore yesterday–
jeans and a thirty-year-old sweatshirt, but that’s okay.

This is the slow forget that teaches us patience.

While waiting for her to dress, we cut up veggies for a pot
of vegetable soup and then baked a butternut squash. These
are the things she cannot do any more. She doesn’t remember
how to finish. Or start. We wait some more.

This is the slow forget that teaches us kindness.

We try not to rush her. We just keep reminding her to change.
When she’s ready, we brush her thin dry hair and tell her
she is beautiful.

This is the slow forget that teaches us gentleness.

The school buses are beginning to clog the intersections.
The kids are skipping in the leaves. She asks about the
ice cream dripping down her hand. We tell her again that

it is hers and it’s okay for her to eat it. She is trying to save it
for some reason. Back home she shivers and says it’s so cold
outside and then asks us whose ice cream she is carrying.

When we tell her, she looks at us funny then puts it into the
freezer and says, I don’t know where it came from.

This is the slow forget that teaches us love.

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