What it might be like to wind down one’s life with Alzheimer's disease.
The puzzle rattles ‘round inside my brain,
why strangers always think that I’m in pain.
They write on simple notes and take my hand,
while telling others all the things they’ve planned.
I wonder if they know I have a life.
Within this shattered shell, I miss my wife.
I wonder if she knows I love her so.
I mutter through my fog, “Where did she go?”
She dominates my dreams throughout the night.
Then comes the sadness at first dawning’s light,
I think of her approaching, drink in hand.
"You take these pills," she says in curt demand.
I smile knowing now, she loves me too.
Without a thought, I do what I must do.
She tells me that my guests are coming soon,
their plan today is lunch with me at noon.
I ask her, “Sweetheart, will you be there too?”
She tells me softly she’s too much to do.
She will not join us for the lunch today.
The family though is well upon their way.
I am confounded. Have I lost my mind?
Tears form among the words I cannot find.
The family’s coming, as for something grand.
Where is my wife? I do not understand.
Deep in my soul, a voice awakes to say,
"As with all things, your wife has passed away"
I tremble with closed eyes, but can’t recall.
I don’t remember losing her at all.
The love that’s in my mind is nevermore.
I watch the strangers walk in through the door.
In quiet tones, they talk of someone’s will,
then they insist I take another pill.
But they are strangers, and don’t understand,
I’ve had my pills, and I don’t need a hand.
They sit and tell of long-gone family news.
One hands me pictures and asks me to choose.
The faded photographs, unrecognized.
"Your birthday, Dad, I hope that you’re surprised!"
All of these faces, each one wide with smile,
are merely strangers visiting a while.
Perplexed, bewildered, I still need to know.
Why am I all alone? Where did she go?