It never seems to happen,
that walk along the beach
I always wanted to take with you.
I have to tell you these things –
because one day I won’t be here,
and you won’t know.
Now I’m sure that there are ways,
other than a final passing from this earth,
where I may not be here.
Maybe in body, but not in mind.
I worry about that.
Every person with dementia,
every one with Alzheimer’s – they all have heard it,
even though they won’t remember
that they should not worry – It’s normal,
just normal, it’s the way we age
only to have to leave this place
before the body fails, a shadow left behind
not at all representing what once we were.
I don’t know what’s worse for a person to go through –
failure of the body
or failure of the mind.
We are comprised of everything and everyone we know.
Every raindrop, every laugh, every tear;
the anguish and the joy.
When that goes away, so do we.
An angry, failing shell remains to sap
those we love before it passes and is finally done.
When the body fails, it’s hard to reconcile that active mind,
that spark of life that makes us who we are –
is robbed from the rest of us – we who remain.
One minute, there – alive and active,
and the next, the body fails,
and the promise of a future, with it.
Carry something of me forward
that my fleeting moments upon this earth
left something behind in those I love.
Forgive me of my failings,
so I may make peace for them.
Celebrate some little thing I leave to you,
in your own way.
Once, not so very long ago,
I gave your hand a double squeeze.
Your child’s hand, so small,
then a woman’s hand,
Our own little ritual,
now carried forward
to the sons of my daughter.
I am not my body – it will fail.
I am not my mind – it will pass.
I am only what I leave behind.
And this is all the legacy I hold,
for my daughters and my son;
for the sons of my daughters,
and perhaps the babes
of my grandsons.
LMC 5/6/2015 cc