Everyone Has a Mother

 

Everyone has a mother

Everyone Has a Mother

Everyone has a mother; most have a grandma too,
You may be young and hip, well hurray for you,
But if you don’t know your grandma’s story,
You don’t know just who you are.
Even “evil people” have mothers,
And even they love their mothers,
You’d think that we have this in common,
That here is a point to start from,
A place to launch that new start,
A way to till that common ground
That leads to the breaking of bread together,
And the shaking of a newly found friend’s hand.
Presuming that mothers are motherly,
And not propaganda machines,
Listen to your mother, she loves you,
And wants only the best in your life.

Oh, temptations are luringly wantable,
But remember what your mother has said,
Beware of temptations awooing,
They’ll be sure to be your undoing,
For they take you off from your lifeline
And you lose when opportunity strikes.

So feed at your mother’s knee, friend,
She speaks the wisdom of ages
And wisdom will serve to the end.

So don’t get so wrapped up in the technos,
Remember we all have a heart;
Remember also that living is sharing,
For which caring is an integral part.
The world does not revolve around you,
It carries us all, after all –
What you feel, I can feel,
And what I love, you can love,
And love can trump all of our hate.
All we need do is work it together,
Our egos left behind at the door,
For there really is a floor
For neglect and cruelty and hate,
Below which we must never drop…

Think of the disenchanted, the ill, the poor and the needy,
Think of the turmoil in the minds of the mothers
When diseases like Alzheimer’s calls
And the brain that was active now crawls.

Though it’s different when it visits your own,
We all have mothers, remember,
So treat all others as if one of your own,
We’re all one big family, each is an equal member.

Treat everyone as if they were your mother,
And you simply cannot go wrong!

–H. W. bryce

Credit: Pixaby

Chasing a Butterfly at goo.gl/nexsF4   http://bit.ly/2jQpFxS

A percentage of each book purchase is contributed to the Alzheimer’s Society of BC for research and people support.

Further reading at   #caregiver   #dementia   #Alzheimers

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The Old Quilting Bee

 

The Old Quilting Bee

H. W. Bryce

Ladies bending over quilting frame,
Busy fingers stitching squares
Into a pattern speaking love,
Happy voices humming hope.

Making patches, keeping memories,
Every stitch a kiss, each caress
A stroke of strength, a vow
This patch will help somehow.

Another patch into the frame,
Another tuft upon the thatch
Of a kind old soul not too rushed
To soothe a quilter’s mind.

Accentuating positive,
Resisting all that’s negative,
Happy people, nimble fingers
Spreading love, sowing hope.
Work together young and old,
Weak and strong, rich or poor,
Family now, stay together,
Work for good, work for all.

Old memories touching someone new,
Each quilting patch sending out new vibes,
Patchwork quilt, a unity of love,
Healing wounds, forgiveness given.

Yes, the old quilting bee updated,
A virtual holding hand in hand,
Patching strangers into friendship lives,
Folks together, one world view.

Square joining happy square, happy quilt,
People loving people, universal smile,
Harmony floating out in waves for miles,
Universal song, universal quilt.

About the Patches

Life is a patchwork of experiences, of ups and downs.
Some lives are torn apart and the patches may never be stitched back together.

In the case of the Alzheimer’s sufferers, life looks like a random collection of bits and pieces.

A pysical quilt can patch memories together and serve as a memoy album.
There is an example of such a quilt in the long-term care home where my Ann spent her final years. It was beautiful.

In the case of last evening, the patchwork quilt above was also for the homeless. Here is the blurb for the event:

Positive Resistance Community Quilt

Over the last few months Maple Ridge Artist in Residence Kat Wahamaa has been inviting folks to make quilt squares. The community quilt is being created by community at large – everyone from seniors to students – a multi-generational, multi-cultural, multi-representational quilt expressing hope for the future of Maple Ridge and the world.

Each quilt square embodies positive energy, a positive resistance to negativity in our community and/or around the globe – in any way the individual chooses. It’s all about putting positive energy out into the world through art.

The quilt was on display yesterday, October 12, at Maple Ridge Council Chambers at another event “HOME is Where the Heart Is!” for Homelessness Action Week. The chamber was packed with people.

I was invited to read my poem The Old Quilting Bee. It went well.

The evening ended with the showing of a very moving film by Cinema Politica in support of Homeless Week. Of course, for the homeless, life is a patchwork – and sometimes for the Alzheimer’s/Dementia sufferers, it feels like homelessness in that it is that disruptive for the sufferers, who sometimes wind up on the street, and for their care givers whose lives (quilts) are torn into “squares.”

The film followed several homeless people in Toronto. If you weren’t moved by this film you have no heart.

Posted in Advocacy, Alzheimer's, Being there, Care Giving, Dementia, Dreams, Homeless, Memories, Poetry, Remembrance | Leave a comment

Memory Is a Silly Old Bugger

 

Memory Is a Silly Old Bugger

Memory is a Silly Old Bugger

Memory is a silly old bugger,
He’s the living example of hugger mugger,
He plays hide and seek with facts and with figures,
Today’s events…he hides away somewhere
and substitutes twenty-year-old events for display;
So memory tells man he’s not ill, he’s “Just fine!”
And man’s memory’s gone like a skunky old wine.

Man goes to the store but memory fails,
He’s forgotten his list, he has plenty of bread,
’Cause memory does flips and teases instead,
So man’s memory of lists inevitably bails.

Man gets those second childhood thoughts,
He recites from chapter and from verse,
The stories get wilder, the telling gets worse,
His memories bounce like malicious bots.

Ask him his age and he’ll tell you he’s fine,
Ask where he lives and he’ll tell you in London
When really he lives in North America’s New Bunton,
And try as he will, he’s forgotten to dine.

Oh memory is a grand old tease,
He’ll tell you you’re well, you have no disease,
So you’ll carry on and he’ll blot up your deeds
And hide them away as if they were weeds.

Oh memory! He’s such a silly old Bugger –
He considers himself a high-scoring slugger
But in reality, he’s just a plain old street mugger,
He’ll rob you of all that is true and leave you to blubber.

Oh, you try to train them when they are young
But memories have a mind of their own.
You try to give them muscle but they prefer bone,
Like mischievous kids, they prefer to roam.

They love to play that hide and go seek,
And when you try to find them, you don’t get a peek,
They dance on the tip of your tongue, sir,
Yes, indeed, memory is a silly old bugger.

Image from Pickit

H. W. Bryce, Author of Chasing Butterfly: A journey in poems of love and loss to acceptance, the Poetry of Alzheimer’s and Poems for Everybody.

Chasing a Butterfly is available at Amazon.ca – goo.gl/nexsF4
Preview available there.  Note: Partial proceeds go to the Alzheimer’s Society to fight this disease.

H. W. Bryce blogs at: hwbrycewrites.com (Books, Blogs and Butterflies)
Mr. Bryce served as Judge at 2017 Rabindranath Tagore Awards International, English Poetry
He is published in several anthologies, in Canada and in the USA.

 

Posted in Alzheimer's, Care Giving, Caring, Dementia, Elderly, Memory, Poetry, Remembering | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cheshire Cat

 

Cheshire Cat

* This may strike you odd as a tribute,
but anything can trigger a cherished memory – anything!
So, today I choose the amusing over the maudlin.

When the Cheshire Cat Comes to Visit

When the Cheshire Cat comes to visit,
And only his smile shows up,
You really must grin and bear it,
Or he’ll eat your breakfast up.

Oh the Cheshire Cat is sneaky,
You’ll never hear him come.
It’s hard not to feel he’s creepy,
And if he meows, he’ll strike you dumb.

But what the Cheshire Cat is after
Is the milk that’s in your bowl,
If you let him, he’ll lick it up faster
Than a panther, which is exactly his goal.

Oh, that smile will sit at your elbow,
And pretend not to notice the milk,
But when you look away he’ll eye the bowl –
Look back, and he’s as blasé as silk.

Oh, Cheshire Cat, oh, Cheshire Cat,
I love your invisible hat,
I know you are playful and that,
But your are such a mischievous brat!

I thought I saw a Cheshire Cat,
A Cheshire Cat with a grin,
But when I looked, it was only a hat,
And laughter came out of its brim.

But the space is filled to the brim
With the memory of a Cheshire Cat.
Hey! Wait! What happened to my milk?
Where do you think it has gone?

Oh! Darn you, mischievous Cheshire Cat!
You’re never near when you’re wanted,
And we’re left wondering where you are at –
Then you grin and make us feel haunted.

— —
My Ann had a bit of a Cheshire Cat smile.

Sometimes when I, or one of our sons or grandsons, were acting silly for her – just goofin’ around – she would give us that comical frowny grin of amused disapproval. That was a beam of heaven for us.

I thought about that the morning I was playing with my breakfast and this grin began to show up in my granola. I gave it a little push here and a little press there and…and I had to chuckle.

So I took its picture, for soon it would disappear, just as the Cheshire Cat’s mysterious grin faded.

And our little cat did indeed sit at my elbow looking, Oh, so nonchalant!

So go ahead. Be a kid again. Play with your food. Who’s gonna tell you not? You’re loved one might give you that Cheshire Cat grin. Gather up the memories.

I love you still, my Ann,
I love you with all my will.
I keep trying to say goodbye, Ann,
But doggone it I love you still.
I try to move on and kick the can, Ann,
But I still haven’t had my fill.

So I’ll continue to try to amuse youse,
And I promise not to live with the blues.

Happy Birthday Ann.

— —

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Virtual Hug

 

Virtual Hug

Truly I wish that you were here,
Or that I were there with you.
I’d pack it up upon a dare,
But my duties keep me here.
And so I send my virtual hug
And with it all my love and care,
And if it isn’t too much to lug,
Love and hug come as a pair.

I’m sitting here, I’m all alone,
My mind is seeking what I miss,
I’m sitting here, I’m dreaming dreams,
Emotions raw as stone.
In anguish of my missing you,
My lonely mind is utt’ring screams,
For I am here, wish you were too-
If only we could ride connective beams.

Wish you were here, right here with me,
To hold me tight like when you were;
Mem’ries keep our love alive
And I can vir-tu-ally see
The two of us in a virtual hug,
Just the way we’re meant to be.
The two of us in a virtual hug,
Just the way we’re meant to be.

Dear love of mine, I love you so,
Love you with all my heart,
If only you were here with me
I vow we’d never part.
Wish you were here or I were there-
This virtual postcard sends to you
My everlasting virtual hug,
A kiss, my dear, a virtual hug.

I hope that you are not forlorn,
I hope sometimes you find some fun,
I hope that you don’t pine away
And that you’re not there all alone.
I hate to see you stuck out there
While I am stuck out here;
It makes life feel so stark, I’m bound to say,
I miss our tender interplay.

So I send to you my virtual hug
Until I see you in my sight.
I miss you mightily, my dear,
I wish that you were here.
But never mind, we communicate,
There are so many ways.
So meanwhile, love, I compensate,
I send to you my virtual hug.

–By H. W. Bryce
Upon the approach of my Ann’s birth date.

H. W. Bryce, Author of Chasing Butterfly: A journey in poems of love and loss to acceptance, the Poetry of Alzheimer’s and Poems for Everybody.

Available at Amazon.ca – goo.gl/nexsF4
Preview available there.

Note: Partial proceeds go to the Alzheimer’s Society to fight this disease.

H. W. Bryce blogs at: hwbrycewrites.com (Books, Blogs and Butterflies)
Mr. Bryce served as Judge at 2017 Rabindranath Tagore Awards International, English Poetry
He is published in several anthologies, in Canada and in the USA.

Image from Pixabay

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“I’m Fine,” she said

 

I'm Fine, she said

I’M FINE, SHE SAID

H. W. Bryce

“I’m fine!” she said with a simple smile
As she tried to hide the many a mile
That she had trod in caring for her man,
As though to prove that she still can.

Depression nearly got her down.
She sat and cried and hugged her hurt,
She wiped her tears and got back up –
Once more into the fray!

Onto the caring with such careful care,
She soldiered on, her duties did not wear
Her out. She was strong and she would show
The love she had for her forever beau.

She took herself apart while her burden slept
And tore her garments for the bitter pill
She had to swallow every day.
Frustration. Enough to drive anyone astray…

She read her charge just like the book,
She knew his every need, his every nook
And cranny of his mind, anticipation in advance,
Her tender loving care, it was an easy dance.

His random acts, his shouts and fists
Left her abandoned, misunderstood,
Her aggravation trapped inside
Gave her fits of hate.

Every day she started fresh.
She never tired, never did regress,
Never an angry word she spoke,
Never would her steady nerve be broke.

Disheartened then, she cried herself to sleep
Every night with bitter tears from deep
Within her sad, rejected soul.
Her spirit broken, she wished him dead.

“I’m fine!” she said with a simple smile
As she tried to hide the many a mile
That she had trod in caring for her man,
As though to prove that she still can.

— —

Poster from a talking point in myalzteam.com, an on line support group.

NOTE: There is still time to join the campaign.
Go to goo.gl/ambsxJ, my OFFICIAL EVENTS PAGE with The Alzheimer’s Society of BC’s Anything for Alzheimer’s site: There, you can donate to the research and support fund, or purchase a copy of Chasing a Butterfly, the poetry of Alzheimer’s and poetry for everybody, and ten per cent of the price will be added to the fund – guaranteed.

Chasing a Butterfly is available at
Amazon: goo.gl/nexsF4
Friesen Press: http://bit.ly/2jQpFxS

PS: I have already raised $300, for the fund.

Thank you.

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Tremulous Times

 

pic for Tremulous times

Tremulous times

So much for peace.
When the poorest and the least opportuned people
Have had enough and hate replaces hope
(the worm turns)
And fireworks explode
Tempers no longer tempered
Do imprudent things
Thinking is as thinking does
And revenge
replaces
righteousness…

Thoughts become bombs and bombs create…death!
Destruction in the mind destroys clear thought…

But all is orderly in the war room, plans are all laid out:
Send Troop A to Region One, apply the bombs in Sector Two,
Take them out by storm and it’s all over but the shout.
Line them up, make them stand like trees along the avenue,
Place our guards four square in place, things will run right straight.
Follow orders everyone, all is orderly in our pleasant state.

And Dora asked, “Why is he like this?
He was never like this. He was a good man.
But now he is not the man I married.
Now his behavior is too varied.
Before, he was a gentle man, a kind man,
Why does he behave like this?
I can’t follow him.
I don’t understand…”

Tremulous times we live in.
The whole world has a headache,
There’s turmoil in the head,
And both are just about
To land in the looney bin.

In the field the troops get lost, they do not see the salvos come.
Turmoil churns the turf, the war planes strafe the troops.
All is lost in a haze of noise, and clouds of shrapnel’s shouts…
And the surviving few are left to die.

So much for peace.
When the poorest and the least opportuned of folk
Have had enough and hate replaces hope,
The worm infects the brain
Until it can take no more
and
the worm turns,
And fireworks explode!
Tempers no longer tempered
Do imprudent things.
Thinking is as thinking does
And revenge
replaces
righteousness…

Thoughts become bombs and bombs create…death!
Destruction in the mind destroys clear thought…
We live in tremulous times…

Meanwhile, back at home:

And David writhes in pain and tortured mind,
The flashes in his head
Explode with excruciating pain.
He cannot speak
Nor stop his writhing brain.
He reaches out
And grabs…nothing else but air.
He stumbles as he walks
And scrapes his shoulder
On the corner of the door…

And Dora shakes her head.
“Come back to me,” she pleads,
“I need you still…
But you cannot hear my plea,
You cannot speak your voice.
Poor man you are stricken
ill,
and I don’t know
what
to do…”

Tremulous times are these,
Tremulous times indeed.
War and peace—
Incompatible…

Something has to give…

And all the while poor Dora
Prays for peace at home.
And David,
Who never went to war,
Remembers
Everything…
And every thing is
Naught.
…Nothing.

–H. W. Bryce

— dedicated to the Alzheimer’s afflicted and to the wounded warriors.

Alzheimer’s Awareness month.

There is still time. It is still September –
Chasing a Butterfly is still available at
Amazon: goo.gl/nexsF4     and Friesen Press:  http://bit.ly/2jQpFxS

And a percentage of sales still go to the Alzheimer’s Society.

Alzheimer’s in the United States

1-in-9 Americans over 65 has Alzheimer’s disease. (Alzheimer’s Association)
When the first wave of baby boomers reaches age 85 (in 2031), it is projected that more than 3 million people age 85 and older will have Alzheimer’s. (Alzheimer’s Association)
One-third of Americans over age 85 are afflicted with the illness. (Alzheimer’s Association)
5.3 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. (Alzheimer’s Association)

Image from Pickit

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