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Wednesday, February 6, 2008


I remember noticing the change.
I don't remember when it happened.
I remember his somewhat better days.
I don't remember when he was really young and quick.
I remember feeling frightened:
I don't remember what it was that time --
A forgotten name?
A wobbly step?
I remember moments of relief:
I don't remember whether he'd won checkers or chess
but it proved that his mind was still here.
I remember how he cried
because my father introduced me
and he thought I was my namesake, his wife.
I remember bringing him dinner
I don't remember what was wrong
but he refused to eat, like a child.
I remember knowing that we'd lost him.
I don't remember whether that was before
or after
he died.

On the occasion of my grandfather's yahrtzeit.
(Written a few years ago)
He was a very special person who did a lot for the preservation of observant Judaism in America.
I never knew that person.


halfshared said...

It is very hard watching a relative's personality change due to Alzheimers. I once helped an old woman with Alz. and felt terrible for her daughter that had to deal with a mother that came to her with a knife. It's so hard and sad. Anyone that helps take care of them will get so much schar after 120. May we all be zoche to health-physical and mental- until 120.

ProfK said...

Alzheimers is so hard to deal with because it injures more than just the person afflicted with it; it hurts that person's family as well. Those who knew the person before are saddened and hurt by what they are seeing now. Those who didn't know the person before are saddened and hurt because they missed the before times and they so desperately would have loved to have known the person that others tell them existed before. Sometimes the only way to have more positive memories is to ask those who knew your grandfather before his illness to tell you the stories, all the stories, so that he can "come alive" for you and take the edge off of the sad memories.

David_on_the_Lake said...

so beautiful
I had that with my grandfather too.
The whole aging thing is just so unfair...
These people suffered thru so much..I wish they could just rest in peace and happiness at the end..
But..thats the way it is..

Anonymous said...

I'll echo the others, it;s so sad, and so beautiful written

CNN had an article on the matter it was heartbreaking to read,

Married her friend, living with a monster.

Anonymous said...

That is so beautiful... I just lost my grandfather two weeks ago and can relate to the feeling of loss. Thank you for sharing!

u no hu ;-) said...

although we are just children,
and didn't know zaidy well,
the little that we do know,
we would like to tell...

i wish he was here too...just one more game of scrabble...just one more time to see him smile at our name-even to see him cry!

you didn't tell me you wrote another poem about him!!!