“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.

Posted in Advocacy, Alzheimer's, Care Giving, Dementia, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Advocacy, Alzheimer's, Caring, Dementia, Elderly, Memory, Peace, Tribute | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hello. Long Distance.

 

pic for Hello. Long distance.

Hello. Long Distance.

Today, I present you with a guest blog.

While the emphasis is on the elderly, and while it acknowledges dementia/Alzheimer’s, I find the article useful – and I take it rather personally.

Many of my Facebook friends, and friends on myalzteam.com – and my friends and acquaintances right here in our small city of Maple Ridge BC – also face and have faced this very problem.

Sometimes the distance is manageable, but not too often; sometimes it involves hours of driving. Occasionally is has been from province to province – or state to state as in the case of my friends in the US.

Sometimes the care giver (and family) move to the parents’ city or town to continue the care and love. At least one such case popped up in our support group.

So, give it a read.

Maybe you, too, have a story to tell, a suggestion to add…

Helping Your Older Parents When You’re Far Away

Marie Villeza

When you were a child, your parents were there for you. They gave you a place to live, put food on the table, and helped you grow up. That’s why you want to return the favor when your parents get old enough to need some help.

But what happens if you live far away? It’s not like you can take care of their every need, but there certainly are things you can do to help. Before getting into that, you need to have a better idea of what problems may be on the horizon.

Problems Faced By Elderly Parents

The biggest problem is clearly the deterioration of physical and mental health. As the body ages, it starts to develop problems like arthritis and cancer. But it also impacts the mind, leading some people to have issues with dementia or Alzheimer’s. While genetics plays a part, so do lifestyles. That means these can hurt almost anyone as they get older.

One little-discussed problem facing elderly parents is that they’re facing important decisions towards the final years of their life. They need to worry about where to live, how to financially survive in retirement, and what to do when friends and loved ones pass away. In other words, anyone can have stress over these decisions, but facing them as a senior makes them harder to handle.

Why Downsizing Can Help

With all these problems, what can you do to help your parents when you live far away? One of the first things you should think about is downsizing. This is when your parents sell their old, big house and move into a smaller home.

Redfin has an excellent guide to downsizing for seniors listing five options for a new home:
1. Buying a smaller home.
2. Renting a smaller home.
3. Moving in with a loved one.
4. Moving into a retirement community.
5. Entering an assisted living community.

But why move somewhere smaller? There are several reasons why this is usually a good move for elderly parents.
● Money is in short supply in a retirement, so moving to where costs are lower can really make sense.
● A smaller home needs less care and maintenance. That means your parents won’t have to work as hard.
● If mobility becomes an issue, moving from a multi-story home to one that only has a single floor can be safer.
While it’s harder to help with downsizing from afar, you can use Redfin to help find the right space for your parents. Thanks to the internet, you can find a home, hire inspectors, and even get a moving company while living far away.

Providing Assistance From A Distance

Besides downsizing, there are other ways you can still help your elderly parents despite not living near them.

First, follow Bankrate.com’s advice and look into your parent’s  finances and legal documents. Power of attorney documents are needed in case of emergency, but you also want to make sure bank accounts and investments are done properly. You can always have your parents send you any needed documents by mail or email.

Schedule regular meetings to understand what’s going on in your parents’ lives. It’s harder to stay informed when you live far away, so make regular times to speak over the phone or internet. This can also help all of you feel connected.

You can also hire a professional caregiver for your parents. If you cannot be there to help regularly, you can send a trained professional to help in your place.

You Can Help From Afar

It’s not always easy trying to take care of your elderly parents from a distance. However, there are definitely things you can do when problems arise. Talk to your parents about downsizing, stay in contact with them, and look into a professional caregiver. Your parents took care of you, and now you can take care of them.

Marie Villeza is passionate about connecting seniors with the resources they need to live happy, healthy lives. She developed ElderImpact.org to provide seniors and their caregivers with resources and advice.

Image by Pixabay   goo.gl/Udmcc4

PS:

*564,000 Canadians with dementia – ALZ Soc Canada

To support the fight against dementia / Alzheimer’s, a percentage of all sales of my book is dedicated to the Alzheimer’s Society in British Columbia, where the University of British Columbia is actively researching treatments and cures.

For a peek into my book, “Chasing a Butterfly: A journey in poems of love and loss to acceptance,” the poetry of Alzheimer’s and poetry for everybody, ,” go to:   goo.gl/nexsF4   http://bit.ly/2jQpFxS

Further reading at    #caregiver   #dementia      #Alzheimers   

Thank you.

 

Posted in Advocacy, Alzheimer's, Care Giving, Decisions, Elderly, Long Distance | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cobwebs: An Outrageous Appeal

 

picture for Cobwebs: An Outrageous Appeal

Cobwebs: An Outrageous Appeal

Cobwebs

Memories in cobwebs left in the dust of time,
Not called upon, they fade into the mist.
Tricks fail to recall, even with the help of rhyme;
Soon they are forgotten and soon they’re never missed.

Yes, cobwebs, tangled in the distant mist of time,
Cobwebs, former memories of former better times,
Now swinging in the breeze, retired before their time,
Even former languages left rusting in the grime.

Trapped for food by a phantom spider’s grip,
Woven into this, her sticky glut’ness nest,
Struggle as they will, they cannot give the web the slip,
Woeful destiny, to be gobbled by a pest.

Memories that fade for lack of light
Cast into the shadows of the night
Never again to be seen as bright
Gives a person such an awful fright.

Greedy little spiders collecting shiny things,
Gather up the memories that used to fly on wings
Now clipped and stored, greedy spiders then forgot –
They went aprowling, where spiders meet to sing.

Now they lay enwrappped, much too tired to fight,
Cocooned there and saved, where they can never waft,
Padlocked and guarded by a long-forgotten key,
They’re left there hanging with the breezes in the loft.

— —

We’re Running out of Month

We’re running out of month. September is World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.

We must not forget.

Outrageous Appeal

We need to spread the word; we need to raise that awareness and donate money and help in the fight to save ourselves from this mighty disastrous disease.

As for me, I live on a partial pension. I advocate via my blog at hwbrycewrites.com, and by selling my book to help raise my donation.

It has been a dream of mine to be a best-selling author. In Canada, that takes a mere 5,000 sales.

As there are a minimum of 564,000 people in Canada with Alzheimer’s / Dementia, 5,000 is nothing. But that many sales of my book “Chasing a Butterfly: A journey in poems of love and loss to acceptance,” the poetry of Alzheimer’s, poetry for everybody, would help the cause toward fighting these diseases and relieving the people with Alzheimer’s and their families who are “vicitims’ too.

Actually, if we sold 1,000 books at a mere $12.95, we would raise $12,950. If we sold 5,000, we’d raise $64,570.

Ten per cent of $64,570 equals $12,950. Not an insubstantial amount to contribute.

As I live on a fixed income, I am transferring ten per cent of each sale into a dedicated account for the Alzheimer’s Society of BC. BC, by the way, is the home of the University of British Colunbia, which has a world-leading research department investigating the disease and finding ways to mitigate it on the way to eliminating it.

My wife’s spirit will love you. Ann was always a giver – and a volunteer: she was the founding mother of the Surrey Navy League Cadets and Sea Cadets, and she presided over cadet organizations for twenty years before Alzheimer’s claimed her.

I thank you with my heart.

PS: You may think that 564,000 people with dementia/Alzheimer’s doesn’t sound like much in a population of 37 million – but it is a whole lot of woe.

Multiply that by about five to include immediate family members (unpaid care givers), close relatives, even neighbours who help out, and, again, that’s a whole whack of misery going about.

And the pandemic is growing.

You think we have time?

– – – – –

*564,000 Canadians with dementia – ALZ Soc Canada

CREDITS:   goo.gl/uQuQRh cobwebs   goo.gl/2wCCFm cobwebs-padlock

For a peek into “Chasing a Butterfly,” go to: goo.gl/nexsF4   http://bit.ly/2jQpFxS

Further reading at    #caregiver   #dementia      #Alzheimers   

Thank you.

 

Posted in Advocacy, Alzheimer's, Care Giving, Cobwebs, Fading Images, Memories, Outrageous, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Come, Break Bread with Me

 

 

Come, break bread with me

Come, Break Bread with Me

Come, break bread with me,
and we shall talk of many things,
of peace and harmony, friendship,
and the turmoil that is life,
and how we may all just get along.
And so to form a bond so strong
As to forget to go to war.

We all stumble from time to troubled time.
But if we break bread together,
we will find a way to heal.
Come, break bread with me,
let us make music together,
let us sing in sweet harmony
of love and brotherhood.

Come, break bread with me
and we shall talk of loyalty,
of truth, and swear to honesty,
and bring out the best of merits
that we hold within ourselves.
Shall we? Break some bread together?
Learn to weather every weather?

Shall we look into each other’s eyes?
Shall we take each other by the hand?
Shall we toast ourselves with wine?
Break bread with me, and we’ll be fine.

–H. W. Bryce

— —

12 Stages

In assessing my experience with the care giving of my beloved wife during her Alzheimer’s journey, which became my journey, I analyzed out 12 stages that I went through.

Each was more difficult that the last.

Untill, toward the end, when acceptance visited me and I began to accept acceptance,
and as the end came within sight, I decided that I would have one more stage to go.
I had to strive for serenity. You know, that help me Lord to accept the things that I can…

“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
–Reinhold Niebuhr, American Theologian

To help me to do that, I decided that baking would be a soothing, calming escape and a path to inner peace after the turmoil of Alzheimer’s.

Well the baking has not gone well. In fact, it has been a non-starter. I have found myself far too busy keeping up with my blog here at hwbrycewrites.com – and writing for and attending poetry groups, working on a new book, etc., along with “life.”

This turns out to be a big bonus for the life after Alzheimer’s – or cancer, or any other vicious, heartless disease. Or even retirement. It has been the answer to that lurking question: What will I do to fill up my time “after”…

However, in the meantime, the cost of living has driven the price so high that it has given me a bit of a kick start into the realm of baking. I have taken to baking my own bread. In a bread machine. Hence, that lovely loaf above.

And so, I invite you all to come, break bread with me.

In keeping with my underlying theme, may I point out that for every purchase of my book “Chasing a Butterfly: A journey in poems of love and loss to acceptance,” a portion of the price goes to the Alzheimer’s Society of BC?”

For a peek into “Chasing a Butterfly,” go to: goo.gl/nexsF4   http://bit.ly/2jQpFxS

Further reading at    #caregiver   #dementia      #Alzheimers   

Thank you.

 

Posted in Advocate, Alzheimer's, Breaking Bread, Care Giving, Dementia, Memoir, Memories, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reflections: then and now

 

 

Reflections: then and now

We all live to some extent within our past,
After all, our past is what has built us.
We feel no older than at some point in that past,
And in our mirrors, we se our younger selves.

We reminisce, repeat, try to be wise,
We have seen our past, and our past is us.
Our past is reflected in and through our eyes;
You may think, “If only those eyes would tell”

But we are who we think we are, that’s that!
Our deeds and us are never far apart,
And never did we simply stand at pat,
For we are always young at heart.

“When I grow up, I’ll show them how it’s done!”
Was I ever young? When I was, I thought,
“When I grow up, I’ll be the one who has won.
And, oh, I hope that I can be as fit as him.”

Yes,
When we were young, life was not at stake,
And we really did get things done.
Enthusiastic, we made some mistakes,
But we believed that we’d outlive them all.

But then life itself grabbed us by the scruff
And shook us from our treasured dreams,
And sometimes showed how life can be rough
And made us look at life, face to ugly face.

Sometimes we wish we could do life over –
And the things we didn’t do quite right –
But life never promised us a bed of clover,
And then we didn’t have that second sight.

Think of those coming to the end of life
Coming to terms with regrets and grief,
Feeling how reality cuts like a knife
And wondering how life came to be so brief.

But we are who we think we are, that’s that!
Our deed and us are never far apart
And never do we simply stand at pat
For we are the ones, always young at heart.

For a peek into “Chasing a Butterfly,” go to: goo.gl/nexsF4   http://bit.ly/2jQpFxS

Further reading at    #caregiver   #dementia      #Alzheimers   

Thank you.

Posted in Advocate, Alzheimer's, Care Giving, Dementia, Memories, Mirrors!, Poetry, Reflections, Remembering | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do Not Change Your Face

 

Do Not Change Your Face

Every family knows this. Every Care Giver. Every Lover.

My thanks to my dear friend Jill Bennett for the use of

her lovely poem and the picture of her Rodney.

Precious are the memories.

Posted in Advocacy, Alzheimer's, Caring, Love, Memories, Poetry, Remembrance | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment