I am sorry that I didn’t blog yesterday as scheduled. I was dealing with a family emergency in Virginia and just got home on Thursday. My father-in-law died there last Saturday at the age of 95.
Losing a parent is a very difficult thing to experience. When both are gone, you feel like an orphan, no matter how old you are.
My father died following heart surgery when he was 65. I was 29. My mother developed Alzheimer’s when she was 68 and died ten years later. When you mourn for your parents you are partly mourning for the lost opportunities and experiences. My father never saw my children which is one of my greatest regrets.
My mother having Alzheimer’s has left me with a fear that I will also get the disease. This is a poem I wrote about that fear several years ago:
Not remembering frightens me.
Not remembering the spelling of a word is scary.
Not remembering what happened fills me with dread.
When someone is in the final stages of Alzheimer’s
They look in the mirror and do not recognize themselves.
I am afraid of not remembering.
Not remembering is painful.
I do remember my mother when she was whole,
When she spoke, laughed, cried.
She was beautiful and strong.
Then she stopped speaking, laughing, crying,
But she followed the baby on the bed with her eyes.
Was she still there?
Did she still know?
When I don’t remember
Remembering her is what makes me afraid.