Saturday, November 28, 2015

Last Request

I have spent the Thanksgiving weekend with my 88-year old mother. Fortunately, she still does well cognitively, though her short term memory gives her a bit of trouble at times. We were talking about her sister, who suffered from dementia in her final years, and I came away thinking about what a gift we give to loved ones now passed on when we remember them at their best. I hope my kids will do that for me!

©2015 Susan Noyes Anderson

If ever in my final, fading years

the essence of me drifts too far away

if I am lost as reason disappears,

hold me in memory until the day

when body stills at last and spirit flies

to make a home in brighter, bluer skies.

Once I have gone, reflect on glory days…

those days when tongue was quick and eyes were clear.

Forget the wandering mind, the vacant gaze.

Recall the love and laughter; draw me near

in every vibrant color that was mine.

Let go the vestiges of my decline.

Reclaim me in your heart; preserve for me

the self I yearn to leave as legacy.

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Grandma Honey said...

This was good for me to read because it reminds me of my Mom. She died of Alzheimers and sometimes it's hard to remember the REAL her...the one before the disease. This is also motivating me to find a better way to preserve her journals. Don't know how I'm going to do that, but I need to!

Gail said...

So many are dealing with dementia related problems, we all can relate to this.

Dad, through life and war, lost many things. He was always encouraging us. Saying women could be and do anything (he had three daughters). He told us often, They may take every thing you have but no one can take your education nor your mind...but "they" took his.

Even with that "loss" his manners, his humor and his gentle kindness stayed.

This was a good yet bitter sweet poem for me. When our time comes may we all be able to leave with dignity and love.

Jim said...

Very nice, Susan. This is what a lot of us are wanting to be made known. Really, though it is harder on the others than on ourselves.
Adi, my now-deceased beagle dog, (I would be honored if you'd like to 'search' for her on either of my blogs, Jim's Little Blog has her more often than P&P Place) and I would visit with Alzheimer's afflicted residents weekly at the prime of her visiting days. The residents loved her, she loved them. Adi and I were a registered 'animal therapy team.'
And of course, the stories about the residents' dogs, provoked by her visit, were the same tales they told every week.

Su-sieee! Mac said...

I love your poem, Sue. You say precisely how I feel. Thank you.
The View from the Top of the Ladder

LeAnn said...

Oh my dear Sue; this was so lovely. I have lost both of my parents and it is hard; but I do have such sweet memories. My Dad had Alzheimer disease and I can really relate to this. You always have just the thoughts of our hearts put into beautiful prose.
I would love an update on your Mom. Sending love and hugs your way!

Tima Nisbet said...

Lots of love to you and your family.
Her Swedish pancake recipe has become our Sunday tradition.

Wandering Wren said...

Sue this is so beautiful. I loved your poem and it even gave me a chuckle when I got to the 'wandering mind' sentence as I little wandering wren is getting there already!!!
I am just about to return home for a family funeral. The last months and years were not good and we will remember as he was, not how he became, in his final years. Your poem is of great comfort Thank you.
Wren x

yaya said...

Your Mom is a gem..beautiful and bright. She reminds me of my Mom. Mom is mentally good but has started to repeat stories and her hearing is a struggle, even with hearing aides. Your poem is moving and so perfect. Tell your Mom I said hi and I hope you have a good holiday season.

Judie said...

You have just given me my post for next week. Your poem, of course, touches us all.

Betty said...

Sue...I needed that! I can't tell you how many times I've closed my eyes and seen my mother in that bed in the God awful nursing home. She was only there for days...any longer and I would have gotten her moved. There wasn't time. She was dying. I see my Dad with Alzheimer's...sitting in the nursing home and bobbing his head. I need to focus on the good days.

jen said...

You're right. This came a little close to my real life right now. Thanks.

Amy Involuntary said...

That is such a sweet poem! And i agree, it is important to remember the good in our loved ones passed on. Also in those still with us, I think.

Momza said...

I think I need to print this poem out. I can so relate to it. Thanks Sue!

Jenny said...

Now I see where I can comment. I just sent you a message commenting on this powerful and poignant writing.

I read this several times...first in tears and then with a warm heart thinking of how many families this writing can help!

Thank you for linking.


Anonymous said...

This resonates deeply as we consider what we leave behind in the end. Beautifully expressed.

brudberg said...

Yes... so much we need to remember how it was before... my mother are leaving us in those terrible small steps... very very little left, and we have to remember her in how she was.

Sanaa Rizvi said...

This one reminded me of my grandma.. who suffered from dementia.. we should always love and cherish the people close to us.

Selena Moonshadow said...

This was truly beautiful, it made my heart yearn and agree with your words.

Grace said...

Very moving poem ~ I hope the same for me too Sue ~ Have a good weekend ~

Bryan Ens said...

Lovely. Yes, I think that we all want to be remembered at our best.

Mish said...

"Reclaim me in your heart; preserve for me

the self I yearn to leave as legacy."

So beautifully expressed. We all deserve to be remembered in this way.

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