Love that is not Lost

There is a love that bears all things, the kind of love that looks you straight in the eye, into your soul, and sees everything….and still loves. The kind that allows you to be so transparent that nothing is hidden yet everything is loved. When we experience that kind of love our soul is blessed beyond all measure. The joy of holding that kind of love transcends any pain that may follow. For the greatest gift of this kind of love….from a mother, a spouse, a child, a friend, a dog….is knowing that just being in their presence is enough

I repost this blog today, Valentine’s Day, in honor of those whose love completely and unconditionally

 

Her eyes are glazed, yet a light in them still shines.

Her hearing is diminished, yet she still senses me.

She sits at my feet, as I rub her back between the shoulders.

She groans in acknowledgment, as if this happiness is too much to bear.

For a moment the panting stops.

A smile rests under her droopy eyes.

Her head turns, through those dimmed eyes she tells me of her love.
In days past, sixteen years of them, I would rush past her.

a quick pat on the head and I would be off

doing the things moms do, carpool, grocery shopping, logging miles on the minivan within my five mile radius

but when I returned she would be waiting

always with a wagging tail and a smile.

At times when things were not so rushed–

the groceries put away, the laundry folded–

I would put my tennis shoes on.

She would wag her, her eyes pleading expectantly.

“You wanna take a walk?” I would ask

and with that last word she would trot to the door.
We had our routine path, around the corner, past the pond, down to the left where old oak trees shaded us from the sweltering Florida sun, around the corner again along the sidewalk where bunnies scampered and butterflies flittered into the bramble when we passed.

  

When we turned back into the neighborhood her pace picked up a bit as she scampered up the driveway.

She knew she was home.

Years later, mom came to live with us. She was 83 years old. She partnered with us on these walks. Together the three of us would take that familiar path. Around the corner, past the pond, down to the left where old oak trees shaded us from the sweltering Florida sun, around the corner again along the sidewalk where bunnies scampered and butterflies flittered into the bramble when we passed. They were times to share tidbits of conversation or times of quiet reflection. Times of companionship.


When we turned back into the neighborhood, mom would exclaim every time, “Thank you, Lord, that we are home.”

Home.

A place of safety.

A place of familiarity

A place of refuge.
These walls of safety have kept out the elements. They have braved three hurricanes, a few tornado warnings, and multiple thunderstorms, even a lightning strike that hit the house and burned out our alarm system.

But these walls cannot shield us from the elements of aging, ones that grapple arthritic bones,

cataracts that dim the eyes, hearing loss that deafens a whisper

or amyloid plaques that tangle the brain.

These are elements that walls cannot keep out

so within these walls we must adapt and acclimate.

For many years I rushed in and out, hurrying on to the next thing.

Now

these elements bear down:

arthritis, aging, alzheimer’s,

causing me to slow.

Stop fighting

Stop rushing past.

Try to hold up.

Try to listen.

Try to see.

So we keep the routine.

Take the walks until the day the feet can only shuffle

Rub the back.

Hold the hand.

 

The smile still lingers, the one that rests under droopy eyes

and the sigh that says this happiness is too much to bear.

The head turns, the light in the eyes still shines

and through those dimmed eyes she tells me of her love.

A few months ago, the time came to put Cindy down. She was 16 years old. In her way, she let me know it was time.

She was lying down on a pink blanket.  I put my face next to hers.  She lifted her head slightly and looked straight into my eyes. With those eyes she said to me:

It’s OK. I love you. And I know that you love me and have loved me well. It’s OK to say good-bye. Let me go.

I love you.

 
 http://jenniferdukeslee.com/tell-his-story/

A gift



My hands fumble on the keys of the piano, stumbling out a few notes in attempts to learn a new song, one I have not played before.  My right hand picks out the notes of the melody, trying to play out the irregular beats of the notes.  She is sitting on the couch beside me, looking out the window, listening.  As a few notes tumble onto the keyboard, mom looks up at me and asks,  “Is that La Paloma?”


I stare at her in disbelief.  I had only played a few notes of the song, and not played them very well, and she knew exactly which song it was!  She began to sing the melody, so I tried to follow along, playing out the melody to accompany her soft singing.  As she sang, the melody became more familiar, and I was able to recall the old Spanish folk song that I had heard somewhere, in a movie perhaps, and together, in her crackly rich voice and my broken chords that she coaches with, “Come on, come on!”, we perform a lovely rendition of the old classic, newly discovered, La Paloma……


After a week of many forgotten things, her own 91st birthday, my sister’s birthday, my daughter’s birthday, this recollection of an entire song is astounding. Days before, we had multiple celebrations of her birthday, and each time, she would say, “Oh, is it my birthday?”  Even minutes before, she was asking my son if she could return to the Philippines to take care of her mother, that she was concerned about who was there for her, and that she wanted to be the one to go home and care for her.   My son didn’t have the heart to tell her she was already gone, and has been for the past 45 years.  He just left it alone, let her be in her reality.


More and more these days, that is what we have to do, just let her be in her world.  Her world is present, in the moment.  And some days I think, she has much to teach me.  For in her world of Alzheimer’s there are no worries, only present moments of love and gratefulness.  She is always seeking a hug, and always thanking God that she is still alive at 91 years old.  Sometimes the tension between her world and mine is too much, as I worry and fret about what’s next, or the next problem in front of me or the kids or the…………..the list goes on and on.


But here, in this moment, we carry out together the tune of the old folk song, La Paloma, “the dove”.  A song that in the 1800’s became a classic folk song in Spain, Mexico, the Philippines, mom’s home country.   As I read over the background of this song, I see this: “Over time the soul of the song is able to express the tension between separation with loneliness, even death, and love.”


This separation, the one that slowly grieves me over time as mom gradually fades farther and farther away,  is bridged for a glorious moment in a song played out for the first time to the gentle urgings of her voice.  The tension is released for a moment, the tension that builds over time from the burden of caregiving.


And I remember the other meaning of “La Paloma, the Dove”


Peace.


Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.    John 14:27


After a week of searching of what I could give to her, she gives this back to me.  A message through a song etched deep in the recesses of her memory.  A gift of love.  A gift of peace.

   
 

Old Faithful

 

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She sleeps at my feet, her paws splayed in front of her greying nose. Her breathing is labored, yet comforting and familiar as she always has been. She came into our lives over fourteen years ago, a friendly one year old puppy on her way to the pound. Her owners couldn’t keep her any more. The look on her sweet face captured my son’s heart, leading to the look on his then ten year old face that pleaded, “Mom, we have to keep her!”

So we did. She joined our already topsy turvy household of four children including a toddler that chased poor Cindy Lou around the family room couch. Dear Cindy spent many hours being chased. I remember one birthday party where she took humor in the chase. We had hidden a clue to the scavenger hunt in her signature red collar. She knew she had something important and played along in the game, not letting anyone get her. She smiled and teased that sunny afternoon, taunting, “You can’t catch me!” In the end, she gave up the clue with a roll over on her back and a rub on the tummy.

Unlike the rest of us in the house, Cindy is very scheduled. She knows when it’s time for our walk. We logged many miles together on our walks, comfortable in each other’s silent presence and an occasional chase after a squirrel. I miss those walks with her now. It is all she can do to get up on her paws and waddle down the driveway, doing her thing along the way, then turning around to waddle back. She still remains scheduled, as I hear her pad into my room at 4 am every morning to let me know its time to go out. I see it now as my nightly star gazing ritual. I take her out at look into the sky to find the few constellations I know I or look at the moon. When its time to go in I clap my hands loudly. She can’t hear me call her name anymore. She turns her head and wags her tail and waddles back in, waits for her scratch on the head, and we both settle in for a few hours before another day begins.

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“Suddenly there was a great burst of light through the Darkness. The light spread out and where it touched the Darkness the Darkness disappeared. The light spread until the patch of Dark Thing had vanished, and there was only a gentle shining, and through the shining came the stars, clear and pure.”
― Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time

Why is there so much clarity in those silent places with our most loyal friend. Freedom in the quiet. Calm in mere presence. And an exchange of mutual love even in the wee hours of the night.

Yesterday I rub her back as we sit in the veterinarians’ office when suddenly all those years of her faithful companionship overwhelm me. I break into tears out of nowhere. Maybe it’s menopause. Maybe it’s the truth that all around me everyone is aging. My dog. My mom. My children. My friends.

That same morning my friend and I simultaneously laughed about and anguished over wrinkles and age spots. What do we do about it? Do we give in and fix them or age gracefully, wrinkles and all.

Why is it so hard to accept the wrinkles of aging, those folds in life that reflect the pain and the worries of our journey. We want to smooth them out, but it is those wrinkles that define us and reflect the strength we have carried and the grace we have sustained to endure the bumps along the way.

This week those bumps loom even larger as I face daily the effects of time. Time that ticks away for my mom as she progresses slowly in the middle stages of Alzheimer’s, yet robs my dear friend’s father so quickly. Time that ticks away for my children that now, one by one leave the nest, leaving me alone, with more time to discover or uncover nuggets of truths that have been nestled under all the busyness of caring for others.

And today in the vet’s office this truth hits hard: in all these moments Old Faithful has been there beside me. One who knows me better than I know myself. One who senses my moods, who knows when I need comfort. Who looks at me and through me with loyal eyes and complete acceptance. One who is with me when I walk under sun kissed skies and in the middle of the darkest night.

She is tired. She has age spots. She has trouble breathing. But her tail still wags when she sees me. She still smiles through clouded eyes.

I am grateful for what this companion has taught me about unconditional love. And she continues to teach me, as all of us age, there is much power in a good back rub, in being present in silences, that wrinkles and grey hair are outshone by loving eyes, and that an occasional groan is okay. And at times it’s hard to get up, but sometimes you just do, move forward, and get a treat. And companionship, the kind that has worn a hole in the pavement beside you, rain or shine, is the best treat of all.

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standing the test of time

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It is a perfect autumn day. The late afternoon sun casts a golden glow on the southern plantation bathed in fall colors. A single giant oak stands as the altar for the young couple that will be joined in marriage on this day. The gathering of family and friends stand as the beautiful young bride crosses the field on the arm of her father towards the young man that will become her husband. The afternoon sunbeams reflect her smile as she approaches her groom beneath the towering oak that has stood the test of time.

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It is fitting that this couple should be joined together under this oak, for as the first Psalm promises, their promises to each other today are based on their own delight in each other and in the law of The Lord. And His blessing on this day permeates the entire ceremony and celebration that follows. For who cannot help but celebrate this love that exudes promise and hope, completeness and joy.

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But His delight is the law of The Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.
Psalm 1:1-3

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My firstborn son stands at the altar beside the groom and his brothers. They have been best friends since they were two years old. And yes both young men have had life and limb shaken up at times in their 23 years of life together. They have buried awkward moments, and now branch out to begin careers that travel in different directions. But their steadfastness of friendship and faith stand as firm as the oak they stand under as this young man makes the biggest commitment of his life.

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Earlier that morning my son jokes about hitting his first home run off the groom on the pitcher’s mound in Little League. Now he laughs at how the nervous young groom paces back and forth, taking deep breaths moments before the ceremony. Later my son turns to me with a smile, saying he has never seen his friend so happy.

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These shared moments of laughter and commitment branch out into this gathering of friends surrounding this family. For during the time that these two young men built a friendship over legos and big wheels so did their mothers forge a lasting friendship over playdates and Happy Meals. The circle of families that bond on this first of many upcoming wedding days span 23 years of friendship, compile 135 years of marriage, and fifteen children.  We have stood shoulder to shoulder in the delivery room of our babies and at the gravesite of our loved ones.  We have clapped at preschool programs and applauded college acceptance letters.  We have consulted about high school dating and about the best ways to care for aging parents. We have cheered at little league games and dance recitals. We have logged late nights of tragedies and tears and episodes of Downton Abbey. We have brought each other casseroles and chocolate at just the right time. We have studied God’s Word together.

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My prayer for this young couple is that they too will have friendships that stand firm in times of fruitfulness and abundance and as well of times of withering and loss when all we want to do is shrivel up and shrink away.

In coming years I hope in times of celebration our kids will continue to shout out and jump together for joy as they have on the dance floor this evening. When times are darker and colder than this freezing southern night I hope they warm and comfort each other with words of encouragement.

At the end of the celebration the young couple run into the darkness under an arch of sparklers. Friends and brothers hoop and holler out as they venture into their new life together as man and wife. As they huddle together on this night of promise may this group of lifelong companions be the next generation of light and love in a world that yearns for more….

Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving message into the night……
Philippians 2:16, the Message

 

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Missing You

Mom rides in the car beside me, on the way home from daycare. This is part of our weekly routine. Routine is essential in caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. There is not much to say, only, did you have a good day?

“Yes,” she always says, “what else can you do?”

Sometimes this same answer frustrates me when I pick her up.

But today, when the weather has finally cooled, and the afternoon sun catches her cheek on the drive home

and we drive by the brand new memory care center I think of admitting her to every time we pass by

it doesn’t bother me as much.

 

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I know the ladies at the day care center have had a wonderful day with her. One showed me a picture on the phone. She played the piano today at the center. Of all the things she couldn’t remember, that she did recall, sitting at the piano.

Today they also played the African drums I got for them at the music festival last week. I convinced the man from Senegal to give me these beautiful handmade drums at a good price so I could donate them to the center. The day care ladies raved how the group loved beating out rhythms on the drums today. How it brought smiles to their faces.

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But mom doesn’t remember the drums either. As I ask her the more questions about her day, halfway home she blurts out, “I think I need to go home to daddy. I need to check on him and see how he is doing.”

I pause. “Mom,” I tell her, “he’s already gone.” Beneath her little grey head and small pale eyes a look of shock registers

“He is? How long has he been gone.”

“Sixteen years. Since Lauren was a baby. You have been living with me for seven years.”

Her face, empty of any recognition, falls. “How come I don’t remember.”

I say nothing.

We make the turn at the corner, past the cemetery blocks from my home.

“Who is at home with Daddy?” she asks.

I repeat the same answer I gave a few minutes earlier.

I get the same empty look, a sense of grasping for recollection.

She hadn’t missed him.

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Then this morning I see this video of Glen Campbell. I remember watching him on the Ed Sullivan show in the living room where my parents lived for 40 years. I remember the album cover by my dad’s old stereo.

And now, I grasp the meaning of his song, “I’m not Gonna Miss You”.

For the beauty of Alzheimer’s in a soul like my mother’s is that there is no pain. Only recollections she holds onto momentarily like tears or raindrops that melt away.

And once she lets go of the tear it is gone. Wiped away.

The only pain is mine.

But if that tear can grace her cheek then melt into oblivion then I must let my own do the same.

I already miss her. The her that would ask about my day, or chat over coffee with me.

But she doesn’t miss me. Her eyes still light up when me or my kids walk into the room. She still reaches and argues for a kiss “that I can feel” in the evening when I say goodnight.

And when I struggle over what is the right thing to do I remember. She feels no pain. She only lives in the moment. So her momentary tears and frustrations are easily dissolved and forgotten

while mine linger in my heart and burn a hole in my soul,
especially as I hear the words that Glen Campbell sings in that familiar voice:

I won’t be missing you
I don’t know the pain you feel
Or the things you do and say each day
I only know you are the last one I say good bye to
And I’m not going to miss you

 

Fresh Start

20140829-060651.jpgHis race has been called.
The swimmer approaches the blocks
Steps onto the platform, anticipating the start.
He is called to mark, fingers reach then curl around the edge of the platform
Get set….muscles fire, from toes to calves to hamstring, shoulders arms, anticipating, anticipating….

The buzzer sounds, simultaneously the machine that is the body springs forward, fingers, toes reaching reaching for aqua liquid
and once entering the channel propels forward, every muscle, ligament, tendon, breath pushing the skeleton toward the wall 50 meters ahead.

It is the start that initiates the motion.

Before this start, there is much anticipation.
There is much waiting…

in the tent, on the pool deck, waiting for the race to be called, for the heat to be called.
Before the waiting there is the warm up hours before the race.
Before the warm up there are the hours of practice
called when Morningstar still hovers
finishing as light breaks the sky
called again mid afternoon until dusk

and always repetitions
of stroke, of yards put in
building stamina and strength…

all of this
before the start.

My son’s last race was one month ago
one month before this fresh start.

and as I watched that last start,
forgetting to turn on the video camera,
waves of emotion overcome….
of sadness watching one last race
of pride for all he has accomplished in this sport
of all he has learned about discipline, perseverance, pushing self past limits to the end
to the last touch of the wall.

 

Now a fresh start
another highly anticipated moment.
This one preceded, with hours of preparation
not only with test scores and hours logged studying,
of honors and awards and diploma,
but also with the weeding out
the choosing, of what he will take and what he will leave behind.

The things left behind, the tokens, the trophies, the T-shirts that label his past years
litter the floor, the dresser in the now empty room.

and the things chosen to go with him
boxes, bags one by one filling the car–the books, the photos, the new college T-shirts
the new sheets and towels and containers and journals
that will now fill his college dorm

will drive away in the car with him and his dad
on the journey 1000 miles to Texas.

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I asked him to humor me one last time, during that last hour of anticipation
for although he had his things organized and ready to go for weeks
his dad did not.

So as dad scrambled around that last hour
he took a selfie with the dog, and scratched the cat behind the ears just how he likes it
and sat on the steps with me to browse through the album I made for graduation,
the one hastily thrown together to cover 18 years
from the first hospital photo to the senior portrait only taken months ago.

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There is a page with cowboy boots, hints of the land he will travel to now.
It was his Toy Story party when he was five.
I ask him, “Do you remember Toy Story 3, when you laughed at me bawling in my 3D glasses, crying, ‘Is this how it’s going to end!’ as Andy drives off to college!”

He nods and laughs along with me. I jump up, suddenly remembering something found the other day. I bring back to him two small plastic figurines, one of Woody, one of Buzz Light Year. As a joke I write Michael’s name on Woody’s boot. “Keep them in your car,” I kid, thinking they too will be left behind. I promised him last night I would let him go with not too many tears. I will let go. He is a grown man now.

He smiles and stuffs them in his bag.

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We stand for one last hug. “Be the agent for change,” I tell him. “Your gift is helping others. Be the one that changes things for the better.”

One more squeeze and we walk out the door.

And the highly anticipated moment for the past weeks, months, happens.

No call to the platform, no call to set, no buzzer.

He waves goodbye, climbs into the overstuffed Civic with his dad,
backs out the driveway that once launched scooters and rollerblades
and drives away.

 

 

 

 

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storm

Recently my family was enjoying the beach on an overcast day. In the distance we could see a storm drifting in. As the storm approached the wind began swirling. The dark clouds became darker, moving towards the light horizon until you could see the merger point, where the black clouds touched the calm skies. The contrast was clear. Its energy filled the air, moving all around us. We were compelled to stay and witness this merging conflict. Its electricity sparked the kids, as they ran and laughed and did cartwheels on the beach as the storm moved closer. The calm converging the darkness moved us all. We drank it in until the ensuing lighting and pelting rain forced us from the beach.

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That moment of collision, where the calm meets the storm, so striking, so powerful, altering our world, is terrifying and thrilling at the same time.   Stark is the point where calm and conflict  meet..

These moments of collision happen too often in those of us who care for someone with Alzheimer’s. We have calm in our day, in our normal routine that is the stability of someone in this condition. Then something moves in to upset the routine….this week for my mom, a UTI, something minor, that presents itself in weakness and fogged memory. Yet the conflict that arises in me as I change my routine, take her to the doctor, get her medicine, take her for her follow up, answer her questions, worry about her weakness, imagine it may be something bigger…all these things swirling around in my head drain me and scare me at the same time.

I try to do something with all this stuff inside, so I paint. I paint the storm. At first, I lay out the storm with smooth brushstrokes and defined lines, but it does not truly depict the image. Instead, I hold the brush at the end and move in large strokes across the canvas. My peers in the art room look over my shoulder. I like the energy, they say. I can feel it. So I continue in this mode, in large, jagged movements over the canvas. At one point I begin to doubt, and start stroking, blending in the colors, with softer strokes, smoothing in the foreground. What happened, says my teacher. You’ve lost the movement. Don’t work it so much she says.

Again, art reflects the conflict inside me. The times I see a situation brewing and try to manipulate it, smooth it over, instead of letting it be. I try to control it, or minimize it, or worse yet, let it torment me inside while externally I smooth it over, hiding the conflict of emotions inside. The conflict of worry, of guilt of being angry, of weariness of this situation, of wanting to be free of all this. So I continue to work on this painting, and myself. I’ve changed the composition a bit, but I have not changed the storm clouds. My teacher says her eye is drawn to the midpoint of the painting, where the white clouds meet dark clouds. She thinks that to be the strongest part of the painting.

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Last week I spoke at a caregivers conference, reading one of the poems I had written about caring for my mom. At different times during the conference, three women approached me, telling me they felt the same feelings I am feeling, feelings of conflict, feelings of despair. I held their hands, gave them a hug.  I know there are many of us caught in this storm of caregiving, of conflicting feelings of sorrow, anger, guilt, weariness as we continue to care for our loved ones day by day by day by day.

Storms move in and out of our lives. But in the moment before, and then right after, there is stillness. A moment of peace. In that moment of stillness, even as a storm approaches, we as caregivers must take rest. A breath. A prayer. An exhale. That is where we find the strength to weather what is ahead.

discovery

photo-1I scour the rocky beach with my young friend Micah. Through his eyes I’m discovering all the wonders of this remote bay in Kodiak. A simple request to see the bay has evolved into a scavenger hunt along cliffs and boulders. As I scamper over barnacled rocks in my slippers, I’m transported into Micah’s playground of tide pools, tiny hermit crabs, even a sea urchin. Jagged rocks loom large like sentinels over these beach treasures. But the treasure that most catches my eye glints slightly beneath the puzzle of smooth , black, flat beach rocks perfect for skipping in the ocean.

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“What is that?” I ask Micah as he chooses the perfect stone to throw into the water. He stoops down to look at the tiny blue treasure. “Sea glass” He picks it out, cups it in his hand and hands it to me.

“Blue is the best color. That’s the most rare on this beach. That’s my favorite. “I examine the tiny sapphire jewel in my hand. The color is deep. The edges round and smooth.

“That’s a good piece. I know a perfect place where we can go and find some more. Come on!”

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Over kelp bulbs, seaweed, rocks we scramble until Micah and ruddy cheeked 5year- old Stuey lead me to the promised land. “Look at this one,” says Stuey . In his chubby little palm lays a perfect piece of aqua sea glass.

“Oh, that’s beautiful. Can I have that piece?” I ask.

His little blond head ponders for a moment. He shakes it back and forth.

“No,” he says. “I like this piece.” He scrambles off to find some more.

A little miffed I crouch down to seek out my own. I discover a large blue piece to examine. I love the color. “What about this one?” I offer.

Micah comes over to inspect. “No,” he says, “the edges are too jagged. It’s not ready yet.”

Stuey returns, clenched fist uncurling to reveal a large brown piece.”I like this one.” Micah examines. ” No Stuey. Not that one. It’s too sharp. You’ll cut yourself.”

“No I won’t,” he protests, clutching the jagged piece in the flesh of his palm even harder. “Look. I’m not hurt!”

And as I watch that cherub faced boy tight fisted clench that shard I realize

I am that broken piece,

Shattered from the impact of watching my mother decline.

Like sea glass worn away over time

Broken pieces of the woman she once was

Her memory, cognition, awareness are diminished

By this disease called Alzheimer’s.

The brain eroded by plaques,

Minerals eating away her mind

As sea salt eats away glass

Rendering it transparent

Frosted, cloudy.

While I still broken, fragmented, attempting to to grasp understanding of this disease,

Its process like salt burns my wounded heart,

I still have sharp edges, cutting words, distorted from lack of sleep, anxiety of the unknown,

Guilt divided between duty to my children and husband and duty to her.

I too held on too tightly

Squeezing the broken pieces of my life too hard

Thinking it was noble, beautiful to hold on to the pain and let uncertainty and fear and guilt grip me

as I watch this disease wear down my mother.

Yet she like sea glass

Continues to shine

Luminous beauty beneath lost memories,

Spirit glowing under frosted edges,

Edges smooth and gentle

A treasure to be found.

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My friend told me the story of sea glass:That true sea glass has rounded edges

And pieces like bottle tops and bottoms are most rare

As are the colors blue and aqua.

And in a piece of true sea glass

The original color remains the same

Only gilded by the coat from the sea.

A myth about sea glass Is to return the broken pieces not yet polished

Back to the sea as you make a wish.

So I will throw this broken fragment back to the sea

And not wish for a cure

Or a miracle or her memory back.

Instead I will find treasure in her gently worn life

Her smoothed edges

Her luminous spirit

And clutch it to my heart.