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.



  1. Oh, Letty, this is so beautiful and heartbreaking! Hugs!

  2. I thought this writing was beautiful with the Pater Noster. I can relate to that condition better than I would wish.A good friend of mine for 45 years died in June after being afflicted with this. So many other creative energetic women friends are struggling with this now. It's just staggering and heart-breaking to me. Thank you for helping me think on it through your creative gift. mb

  3. I hope she recovers from the broken truly is sad to see someone go through Alzheimer's. This was so well written. nv

  4. Dear Letty, So beautifully told. It touched me deep in my heart. Tough times for a lady who must have lived life to the fullest. Tough for Jack and yourself to go through this also. Thinking of you. Cindi

  5. Letty, this is such a moving, touching story, reminding me of my mom. Thank you. ss

  6. I enjoyed reading this and it is so very true. jr

  7. Letty, Thank you for sharing this deep, personal time. When Alex and I line dance as members of the "Sunflower Dancers," when we visit retirement homes/life care communities, we sometimes spot a resident come alive with the music. A person in a wheelchair may appear subdued, showing little emotion or movement until we notice a foot tapping with the music. When a smile follows, or not, we know there's been a connection.

    1. Music is such a powerful tool for people. Stories can be that strong but I notice that people rarely move and find a beat to a story whereas music helps them to feel lighter and happier. Love those tapping feet and hands.