Why am I?

As some of you may know, my father has Alzheimer’s, and I currently live with my mother for several reasons, one being to help in his care. Now most people know of Alzheimer’s and have these images of what it is like, often fueled by portrayals from movies and television. And while there is some truth in what is portrayed, as is often the case they are mere echoes of the reality. It is not simply someone being forgetful of where and when they are, with moments of knowing full well what is going on. At least not in my father’s case. Rather it is a gradual loss of identity, until not only is memory gone but the essence of who that person was. They not only forget their past, but their present and the very functionality of life.  In a way they are fortunate that they do forget, because though they may suffer they don’t hold onto that suffering.

Sadly for those who share the journey; caregivers and loved ones, the memory does not fade. Our suffering is not so transient.

In recent weeks my father has been showing a quick decline. Whether a temporary issue or the next stage is yet to be seen. This past weekend because of this and some other things I recently have experienced, I found this fact sinking deeply in, to the point that I was this close to tears. I had the desire to share about it on my blog, but could not find  the words.

Until this week’s 100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups showed up. As often happens, the universe gave me the opening I needed. The prompt: the word LEGACY. This week I stepped away from my usual tongue-in-cheek or pushing boundaries to create a maybe bitter-sweet poem about the meaning of human life that I hope expresses a little of that which I could not before.

Are lives defined, by word or action?
The I who is seeks satisfaction.
What legacy will “I” leave behind?
Of that answer, many are blind.

Am I simply the choices “I” make?
Or the end of paths others did take?
Is it memories of past that the I define?
Or the memories “I” create? The ones that are mine?

And what should happen if the memories fade?
Will the I that is leave no future made?
Is it the children we birth, both human or other?
Or is “I” the I who is, of the future don’t bother?

Why … am … I?

0 thoughts on “Why am I?

  1. My heart goes out to you. Until she passed away earlier this year my family had to watch my nan degenerate from another form of dementia so I understand what you are going through. My very best wishes go to you and your family in this difficult time.

      • I think it’s better that some people don’t get it – it means that they haven’t had to go through it themselves, and as watching a loved one suffer with this is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, that has to be a blessing.

        • In that sense I fully agree. But it sometimes gets unintentionally hurtful when someone you associate with makes comments or assumptions because they truly don’t understand. But as you say I would not wish it on anyone.

  2. My mother’s mother and my mother’s sister post passed away from Alzheimer’s….at rather young ages…in their early 70’s. I always feared that my mother would also end up having it. My mom is 84 now…and every time she repeats a story to me or doesn’t remember something critical I get scared that it’s beginning in her. Watching her go through the pain of losing her mother and her sister to Alzheimers ( I was too young to really understand what was going on with them…but I saw her pain and sadness) is something I’d rather not have to experience….but know I may have to. Anyway….sending you love and light….and big gigantic hugs.

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