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Memories of Mary

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  • Memories of Mary

    By way of explanation- Jack and Mary were real people. Jack was a resident in a dementia facility where I had the privilege to work with residents and families. Jack was a wanderer. Throughout the night he would go from room to room, look in peoples chest of drawers and occasionally even get into bed with other residents (always female} Of course everyone thought that he was just a dirty old lech. Mary was his wife. As he wandered he would constantly repeat her name. Once or twice a week she would come to visit Jack. After these visits Jack would calm down. He would seem content not to wander. Then he would start up again. I wondered what might be going on in his mind, what he might be thinking. The poem below is the result.




    Mary,

    I lost your memory today.
    Your laugh,
    Your smile,
    Your gentle voice.

    I looked in all the usual places
    But all I saw were stranger's faces.

    I didn't mean to so careless be
    with such a precious entity
    As your memory.

    In a world with no horizons
    or maps to chart the way
    I wander alone in blackness
    Without tomorrow, without yesterday.

    In search of a beacon to guide me
    Some purpose, some reason, some aim.
    But all I can find in the darkness
    Is the echo of your name.

    So I repeat
    As I aimless stumble
    It's your name that
    I constantly mumble.

    And hope that by saying it over
    It will somehow come to be
    More than a name in the darkness
    It will become a reality.

    Sometimes it seems that it happens
    You suddenly appear.
    You touch me, you kiss me, you love me.
    It's like you were really here.

    Just for that moment
    My soul is at peace.
    All of my tormented
    Searching can cease.

    Just for that moment
    My mind is so keen.
    I remember each instant
    Each beautiful scene.

    I remember your laughter,
    The scent of your hair,
    My mood so much brighter
    Because you were there.

    I remember your beauty
    My thrill at your touch
    I remember I love you
    And still need you so much.

    I remember our passion
    Our loving intense,
    Explosive, dynamic,
    Relentless, Intense.

    Just when my mind
    Believes you are real,
    Believes that it's really
    Your soft skin I feel

    You are gone and your likeness
    Fades from my view
    I realize then
    It wasn't you.

    Only a memory,
    A dream, a desire,
    Only a longing
    To rekindle old fire.

    Now even your memory
    Has been lost to my mind.
    Leaving only your name
    And this longing behind.

    So again I go seeking.
    What else can I do?
    But search 'till I find them,
    My lost memories of you.

    Jack




  • #2
    Oh! This is written with such clarity if that word can be used for someone that is suffering from this disease. I have familiarity with it with several family members and have seen the sad reality in the faces of folks trying to find the ones they have 'lost' in their minds. you have really nailed it. Like to believe Jack and Mary know it.... somewhere in their souls.... they know. I thank you on their behalf.
    This makes me so sad:
    In search of a beacon to guide me
    Some purpose, some reason, some aim.
    But all I can find in the darkness
    Is the echo of your name.

    Comment


    • rhymetime
      rhymetime commented
      Editing a comment
      Strangely, I thought of you as I posted this. You seem to have such a tender and honest heart. I hoped that you might read it.
      I have seen the happy, the terrified, the empty. It seems to me that when all else seems gone the eyes still tell a story. I only wish i could know the story they are telling.
      Thank you so much for your beautiful thoughts.

  • #3
    rhymetime this is an award winning poem. I also have first hand experience witnessing the ravages of Alzheimer's disease. My mother -in- law succumbed to the disease on New Years Day 2015. We witnessed so many beautiful people and their stories. You have bared your heart and soul in this beautifully scripted write. I can see the movie projector rolling in the theater and on the screen is Jack and Mary's life and love story. This is so appropo right before Valentine's day.For all of us lovers reading your poem, stop, pause, and be thankful you have love in your life that you can recall and savor in this present moment. Blown away rhymetime!

    Comment


    • rhymetime
      rhymetime commented
      Editing a comment
      WOW! I cannot thank you enough. You are so right on. We must pause and enjoy the love we have fostered and are freely given. We must never take for granted what we have and what we can remember.
      your kindness is most appreciated.

  • #4
    I agree with Bobby, what an amazing job you did telling Jacks story. I'm sure a lot of people can relate to Dementia. My grandmother has it and just recently I got a call because she thought she had lost me and was going door to door in the nursing home in search of me. I was little again in her mind but anyhow. Your poem is a very touching tribute to Jack and Mary. Definitely pulled at the heart strings! Well Done!

    Comment


    • rhymetime
      rhymetime commented
      Editing a comment
      What a lovely moment you shared. When so much seems lost you were remembered, sought and searched for. You must be greatly loved. When all else is lost she remembers you.
      thank you so much for your kind words.

  • #5
    This is the finest poem i've had the pleasure of reading from you. How youve entered the mood of forgotten love is completely tender and vulnerable and without pretense. Just packed so full of feeling its impossible not to be touched by this.

    Comment


    • rhymetime
      rhymetime commented
      Editing a comment
      WOW! great praise, it is indeed humbling. I shall forever be thankful to Jack and Mary for allowing me to be an observer in thier life. I hope I got it right.

      Thank you, thank you

  • #6
    Win...win...win. This one of the most beautiful things I've ever read rhymetime. It's reality makes it so. Thank you - Jack and Mary may never know how you've honored their story in verse, but we know, and are grateful.

    Comment


    • rhymetime
      rhymetime commented
      Editing a comment
      You bring tears. I sat as a silent obserer of a love story. A love story that could not be destroyed by circumstance or misfotune. Wherever the mind goes, the heart remembers.

      Thank you so very much.

  • #7
    This is a Masterpiece! Exquisitely wrought - I especially love these lines

    In a world with no horizons
    or maps to chart the way
    I wander alone in blackness
    Without tomorrow, without yesterday.

    In search of a beacon to guide me
    Some purpose, some reason, some aim.
    But all I can find in the darkness
    Is the echo of your name.

    I have a 91 year old mother-in-law with advanced vascular dementia who I think is soon approaching the end of her life. There are so many truths in your poem that are devoid of sentimentality. I rarely like to use the word beautiful with respect to a poem. But this Beauty is beyond words in its life truths.
    Last edited by Tanner; 02-14-2017, 03:25 PM.

    Comment


    • rhymetime
      rhymetime commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you Tanner
      As I read of your mother-in- law I have to pause and think. Everyone was us once- young, hopeful, silly, horney. They played in the rain and smiled at the sun.
      They loved and felt as we do now as our children will after us. Wherever they have gone they were once here.

  • #8
    Hello rhymetime, The depth of sadness in this piece of superlative poetry is profoundly disturbing to the point of reaching for the echo to comfort both Jack and the reader and in doing so realize that even the memory of the echo is lost. To know of love, a love lost to dementia, to search the chambers of empty hopes, echoes of echoes of love, as it were, in the shadows of waning memories must be soul defying, heart shattering and depressing. A most excellent poem in all and in all and as a whole, excellent. Regards, Tony.

    Comment


    • #9
      Rhymetime, this is beautiful. A sad mix of longing, remembrance, and torment. Such a moving piece, Rhymetime very well done, indeed.

      Comment


      • #10
        A powerful testimony that gets inside another person's affliction - their 'lost' mind - and finds some vestige of the self. That's what our imagination is for. A deeply humane write, rhymetime.

        Comment


        • #11
          A moving and powerful write! Thanks for sharing this story!

          Comment

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