Archive for April, 2011

When you are a caregiver for a loved one with dementia, one of the saddest things that happens, happens to you as much as to the patient.  Little by little, painfully, slowly, your loved one moves away from you into a world where you can’t follow.  You can no longer reach the mind that so charmed you or inspired you or entertained you.  My mother was my first and best editor.  I enjoyed her skill with words.  She was a published and award winning writer of short stories and poems.  But through the fourteen long years of her dementia, I lost a sense of my mother’s reality.  Only now and then did a spark from her blue eyes, let me know that she was still there. (And often that spark was elicited by my reading poetry to her.)  While sorting her written work after my mother’s death, I found the following poem, “Spring Wind”, in an unpublished book of verse for children called Songs and Scenes.  The poem brought back the mother I used to know.  I share it here in her honor.  (The copyright to the poem belongs to the estate of Evelyn Mullenax and the poem may not be reused without permission.

                                                                                                                                       Spring Wind

The wind is cool,” my mother said,/ You’d better wear a coat.”/ “I heard you sneeze,” said Daddy./ Wear a scarf around your throat.”/

But the wind at which they fretted/ Was the fragrant breeze of spring./ It brought the scents of everywhere/ And softly ruffled up my hair,/ And left my heart without a care/ And stirred the birds to sing./

“Come out!” I called to Mother./”Come out and see the day.”/ She came and knew what I knew–/ That spring was here to stay.

The wind was singing springtime/ To everything around./ While Mother let it blow her hair,/ I let my arms and legs go bare,/And, side-by-side, spring reached us there/ Sitting on the ground.






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