Sunday, July 31, 2016

I'm Angry

Our Father, who art in Heaven...

I'm Angry.
It's not my nature to be angry, but I sometimes yell at the dog.
I'm Angry at Dementia, and the way it eats through our lives.

Hallowed be thy name.

Her eyes once so full of sparkle are now dulled by Dementia's presence.  Her smile questions who she is, where she is, and why, why, why.

The nightmares seem so real.  The fears send her joy filled songs of life into a vault that time occasionally opens. 

Thy Kingdom Come,

It's never quiet in her mind.  Her early years sustain her.  
She smiles at each and every person who passes through her day.  She listens to their stories, and shares her own.  She makes the world a better place everyday.

Thy Will be Done,
On earth as it is in Heaven.

Why, why, why.  "I'm old. My brother and sisters are all gone. Albert died.  The shingles hurt so badly. Why? Why did I have to live this long? ......Those big men from Pond Creek came into my room last night and drank their liquor. They're mean. They scared me. I couldn't sleep."   

Give us this day our daily bread, 

I kiss her head, rub her hands, and hold her when I can.  We cry.  "They are gone.  They are not there.  Your room is safe. Jack won't let anything happen to you."
              "But Jack's dead." She sways and cries. 
"No, No. Jack is fine.  Jack makes everything safe for you.  He was here this morning.  Take a breath and sing your favorite song, then you will remember that Jack is still alive."  

     So I'll cherish the old rugged Cross
     Till my trophies at last I lay down
     I will cling to the old rugged Cross
     And exchange it some day for a Crown.

Slowly a smile emerges, her head lifts upward, and her eyes make contact.

Forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.

I beam with the pride of a child's mother when a friend sits beside her. Stepping away, I listen as they recall a better day.

Sitting on her walker Georgia slapped her knees, "Didn't we have fun when Bob Wills came to town?  I could dance all night long. Didn't we have fun?"

  "Absolutely.  He came to town twice, you know.  One time I played my guitar on stage right beside him.  My papa thought I was the best guitar player he'd ever heard.  My papa was so proud of me."

  "I think Bob Wills thought you were pretty good too, or he wouldn't have asked you to play."  Georgia slapped her knees and taped her feet.  "Look there," she pointed to her feet. "That's all they do now, is tap.  These feet could dance all night long.  I could out twirl any woman in the barn, and now look at me."

The story, like a music box, wound down and quiet overtook the space.

Lead us Not into temptation
But Deliver us from evil,

She is frail. She fell. She broke her hip.  
She told the nurses in the ER that they needed to cancel her music program at the VA that day.  She didn't think she could play.  The nurses fell in love with her. 

For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
forever and ever. 

She is determined.


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Where the Sidewalk Ends....

Early this morning, Lucy and I took off to walk to the other side of the Hidden Hill, and once again I caught myself, eyes glued to the sidewalks, wishing I could see the horizon; wishing there not endless hot steamy streets, sidewalks, and concrete curbs wherever my eyes searched.

I passed a favorite yard that always seems to have something in bloom. I stopped and collected my thoughts. 

Noticing the trees bending and swaying; birds fluttering and chirping; flowers blooming is one reason I walk, so why, I asked myself, am I so miserable and disgruntled with my concrete surroundings? 

The lanky daisies brushed my leg like a gentle fairy's touch, and my mood improved immediately. I smiled and decided to walk a new path to the other side of the hill where I could view the horizon.  The weight of wishes that bore me down lifted the faster I walked toward the horizon. 

When I came to the place where the sidewalk ended, I laughed. I stopped to give Lucy a drink of water. My eyes scanned the surroundings and I wondered how Shel Silverstein could possibly have written such delightful poems while surrounded by a concrete city (poem). The more I mused on the subject, the more I realized that it's not the concrete that binds me, but my own selfish wishes.  

Suddenly, I relished in relief...a new perspective opened my mind's eyes. 

The nearly hidden window on a home built on a busy
corner intrigued me. As if the home wished to be elsewhere in time and place, I felt myself drawn to whisperings of the ivy covered lot. I listened.

Lucy had no patience for the secrets of the home. With some effort she led me away down a hill, on a sidewalk where I could cast my eyes out across the horizon. 

Slowing my breath, and with the help of my imagination I could see past the homes, visualize the horse farms in the distance, and feel the freedom of space.  At last I understood: ignoring the rooftops, the streets, the pavement allowed me to relax.  

Thanks to Lucy and Shel Silverstein, I found the place "Where the Sidewalk Ends," and my
imagination begins.