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With my Mother and Alzheimer’s disease

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1 With my Mother and Alzheimer’s disease
My Year to Remember With my Mother and Alzheimer’s disease

2 Mama Copyright 1994-2000 Brenda Parris Sibley
Walking through the house That doesn't feel like home; You've forgotten it, As well as all your children. One day you woke up, and Those memories were gone. You walk the floors and worry, Wishing for cattle and land, For food, for cash crops. You just can't understand how It is today--why we don't need all that. Your mind is still in the years Of the great depression. So you walk and worry. I try to explain, tell you There's nothing to worry about. I cook, and I tell you when it's Time to eat, and I give you your pills. I clean the house. I'm here for you, mama. We've got all we need; We've got each other. Please don't die, mama; You're all i've got. Copyright Brenda Parris Sibley

3 It’s Me Mama, it's me, I'm your youngest daughter.
Can't you see that; don't you know Who it is that loves you so? You ask the others; they tell You too, that i'm your baby, I'm your Sue. Why have you forgotten me? I'm right beside you; can't you see? Mama, please look into my eyes, Please know me some. Please tell me you love me And that you're glad i've come Copyright Brenda Parris Sibley.

4 Come Spring Things will be better come spring I know
When all the world is abloom. Our walks will be long and frequent then When the garden comes alive and the birds sing a tune. The garden spot i'm planning there will be Your favorite place, just wait and see. No more days of sitting in the house; You and I will be out all the time. You can walk through the garden or sit on the bench, And i'll work in the soil, the pleasure's mine. With flowers abloom all around you, You'll feel better then. We will picnic in the garden On fresh vegetables we've grown; It will all be more pleasant Than anything you've known. Yes, though now in the dead of winter, All will be well come spring When the vegetables grow in the garden And the birds gather round the flowers to sing. Copyright © Brenda Parris Sibley

5 Waiting for the Morning
I sit awake with you in the scary midnight darkness, telling you everything is okay, calming you down after a dream, holding your hand as you wander, searching through the house for remains of your former life. I sit as you sleep in your chair, when you won't go back to bed, knowing you will wake in terror, afraid of a dream, afraid of not knowing, afraid of everything. And sometimes you won't hear, my words will be as meaningless as the ones you sometimes say. And perhaps you will reach out, sometimes searching, sometimes striking; I'm here for you, whatever you need; I'll even be your punching bag. But I can't fix things for you; I can't bring your memories back. They are gone, just like the house and people you search for. All I can do is sit and wait with you for the approaching dawn when things will look a little better illuminated by the light of day. Copyright Brenda Parris Sibley

6 Alzheimer’s Sitting in your chair in the nursing home,
you hold my hand, but you barely respond. You can't understand me; I can't understand you. Words have no meaning. Neither do faces. You've been on the way here for a long time. But did I speed it up? In trying to care for you, did I do more harm than good? And then I gave up, and now you just sit. Mama, I'm so sorry. Mama, I'm so afraid that I did this to you. Copyright Brenda Parris Sibley

7 The House My mother's house was a place of comfort,
a place of memories, where I grew up. Then I put her in a nursing home. She didn't remember her house anymore. Now my mother's house is mine, but I don't want to go there. I try to stay away. It's not home anymore; My mother isn't there. There's only memories of how I failed, and guilt because I'm not still trying to make her house her home. --March 1996 Copyright © Brenda Parris Sibley

8 Precious Times I cry a river over times that are past,
when I held my mother's hand, and when I made her laugh. We walked and saw flowers and listed to the birds; She couldn't always understand, but love didn't need words. Even in the dark times, when we were up through the night, why didn't I see it? Everything was right. Why did I give up and send her to a home? She sat alone for a while, and now she is gone. --April 1996 Copyright © Brenda Parris Sibley

9 Sights and Sounds Sometimes it's a sound, birds like we listened to,
or the music she liked to hear; Sometimes a smell, like flowers, or even the shampoo she used; Sometimes bacon frying, or the pudding she liked. Over and over, every day, I think of my mother, and tears flow. I was so tired, but why did I give up? Those were the best times, the only really important times in all of my life. --May 1996 Copyright © Brenda Parris Sibley

10 Song of Alzheimer’s My mother was so full of life
and living was a joy. It seemed as she grew older she just surprised me more. I saw her as my mother; I found her as my friend but that was just before the beginning of the end. I took care of my mother; I tried the best I could. We had some really good times, but some that weren't so good. It seems all I can think of-- It haunts me day and night; Re-living all the bad times and what I didn't do right. I look into the mirror; I see my mother's face. I reach out for something; I see I have her hands. I think I have her hair now that it's turning gray. I wonder if I'll be like her in every way? It's in most every family, everywhere I go; Someone's losing someone that they love so. These should be the best times, not the very worst. These are the last times; Why do they have to hurt? Won't somebody please do something about Alzheimer's Disease? --November 1996 Copyright © Brenda Parris Sibley

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