Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A Personal Story

Not so long ago my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. At first I didn’t notice it but as time went on it became very apparent.

Instead of going to visit her, and dealing with it, I chose to withdraw.
I used to go up and spend some time with her at least twice a week, now months had gone by and I was just ignoring the whole thing..

Last night I finally pulled together the courage to go up and see her.

As simple words could not describe what I felt, I figured I would try this way of communication.

A throne rocks to and fro, and a queen sits therein,
The day is about to end, or perhaps about to begin?

The minor things in life surround her, in marble and oak,
As time slowly begins to lash her with its black velvet cloak.

Eyes that were always filled with wisdom, with warmth, and with care,
Are clouded by the shadows of what once was, by the images of yesteryear.

As I approach her I look happy, confident and sure,
Kneeling before her I yearn for the eyes that once shone so pure.

Recognition had ceased just a few months ago,
Yet her blank look tore through me, it just hurt so.

Her face was towards me as she continued to stare,
“Do you know me?” she asked hesitantly, it was too much for me to bear.

I kiss her hand as I turned to leave, saying I’ll be back very soon,
What happened next broke me, she started humming her tune.

A melody that has been sung by mothers throughout the years,
Accomplished what nothing else could, those notes released the tears.

She continued to hum, not even knowing I was there,
and tears poured from the depths of my heart it seemed so unfair.

I cried for the good times we shared and for the bad as well,
I just wasn’t ready to let go yet, there was so much more to tell.

She finished her song, and started to speak,
I strained to listen; her voice was just so weak.

“My parents come to visit me” she said, her face growing sad,
“My mothers name I am able to remember, but not my dad.”

You look so much like my father she said, but I just can’t remember his name,
I know it I told my grandmother, I am called by the same.


At 4:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How painful, and yet how beautiful. It was worth the wait.

At 5:50 PM, Anonymous Shaindy said...

OMG, I was totaly crying. Amazing writting

At 6:42 PM, Blogger Chaim Chusid said...

It's All Good,

Thanks for waiting.



I remain,

At 8:13 PM, Blogger Upgebinden said...

one of the nicest things i have read in a long time.....

At 9:05 PM, Blogger Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

A moving master piece...It's so sad, I can't hold the cry anymore.

Alzheimers is a very disturbing disease. It is my loudest reminder of our immortality. As your poem sings in sorrow tunes, we can't help remembering Who our loved one once was...

It's god's world and his ways...

At 9:21 AM, Blogger Chaim Chusid said...


Thanks for the nice comment.


It is indeed a horrible disease, but which one is not?

The question that can be asked is: Do we feel bad for the patient? Or are we worried about our own mortalities?

I remain,

At 2:01 PM, Blogger Also A Chussid said...

Reb’ Chaim…

If you wrote it yourself and didn’t steal it from somewhere else, be on the lookout so others shouldn’t steal it from you. This is definitely stealable material…

Always was and will remain,

A. Chussid

At 3:35 PM, Blogger yingerman said...

kills me.

At 5:03 PM, Blogger Chaim Chusid said...

A A C,

It's original chabibi, just like me! (lol)


Yes it is painful to watch a person go through it.

I remain,

At 6:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As one who has lost grandparents, please take advantage of whatever you have left and record your grandmother's memories when she is lucid. And you know what? Even when she isn't exactly lucid, tape it! Her voice will live on, long after she is gone.

At 6:20 PM, Blogger Chaim Chusid said...

Iz All Good,

Thats a good idea, BUT:

Would she want to be remembered in this state?
Do I want to remember her in the state that she is currently in?

-Sigh- I really don't know....

I remain,

At 7:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chaim, believe me. You take what you can get. You always have the option of throwing away the tape(s) and writing(s) if it's too painful.

At 10:40 PM, Blogger heimishinbrooklyn said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 10:41 PM, Blogger heimishinbrooklyn said...

My grandmother is starting to forget. What's interesting is that she knows something is happening. It's so scary to watch. She would say something about someone but couldn't remember the name and she would repeat a few times "....nu, vi azoi heist zi nur." And sometimes she would laugh making it into a joke. She see's her memory slipping away. So so scary. I used to go more often but wasn't there since Yomin Tovim. I feel like, why should I go? She won't even know I was there.

At 1:09 PM, Blogger the sabra said...


i had to sit here for a minute before typing in order for my goosebumps to subside.


i gotta share this with others.

shavua tov and i wish you much luck in being a chossid-in being a lamplighter.


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