Winds of Time: Miryam Howard-Meier will not miss the bus

A woman with Alzheimer's disease is comforted by a healthcare worker at live-in residence for Alzheimer's and dementia related patients

Literati. What happens to those beneath the surface who seem to drift further and further into the deep? Where are they going, and why do they leave us behind? Miryam ponders the question that will confront us all, eventually.

Wind of Time

By M. Howard-Meier

 

I turn the key until I hear the familiar loud CLICK.

“Yoo-hoo….It’s Mary Lu-Lu-Lu-Lu”, I melodiously cantor, as I enter her room.

I make a mental note that nothing has been moved since I left yesterday. Leaning over her tanned, wrinkled face, I place a kiss on her forehead, silently thanking God for another day that I can see her breath. Her eleventh-story room turns from murky grey to brilliant light as I open the blinds, and an ocean breeze rushes in, as if to say, “I’ve been waiting out here too long!”

“Oh dear, am I late for school?” she asks.

“No momma, there is no school today,” I tell her calmly.

 

After her shower, I dab a little “White Shoulders” on her wrists and she smiles at the familiar fragrance. We sit together on her patio over lunch, her hair shimmering like tinsel in the sun and she struggles to say something. I look into her eyes and believe somewhere she knows, but she can’t grasp the enormity of putting her thoughts into words.

“It’s okay momma. I know.”

She looks off into the vast city below,

“I have to start packing soon, or I will miss the bus.”

“Where are you going?” I ask.

“I don’t know” she replies, with a vacant stare.

 

Her merry-go-round no longer turns,

The horses hold their breath,

Melodies are locked in space,

All are drifting off to sleep.

Perhaps she dreams…perhaps she lingers deep within.

 

She turns to face me, “Thank you for taking care of me.”

She knows, I think to myself. She is not oblivious.

Trapped by her own life, she is a prisoner in a mysterious world.

Ninety years have passed and she is a child again.

 

Her thoughts are whispers barely heard.

I listen deeply and feel her words,

What is now, is where she lives,

As present moments fill her world.

Perhaps she dreams…perhaps she lingers deep within.

16 comments

  1. Parisianne Modert says:

    I am melted with magnolia blossomed, poetic words. I adore the story and am breathlessly a tender breeze over the two poems within. Pure southern grace and character of beautiful acceptance. My, my how lovely your words are to fan ourselves with in the evening shade of life.

    • Miryam says:

      Thank you Monica…. This disease is a difficult one to watch in our loved ones. I would love to read your story if you want to send me a link?

  2. Michael Stang says:

    Yes, the poems move the story forward and they are wonderful, but is is the present tense writing I love about your flash: matter of fact illuminating the subtle universal of the disease. The daughter Lu-Lu-Lu-Lu, a piano player. This is not to be undone!

  3. Miryam says:

    Thanks Mr Stang…I apprecieate your feedback. I really didn’t know how this piece would go over with the poetic insertions… It wasn’t planned out. Just happened.

  4. kyle katz says:

    I wish everyone would read this. It touches me deeply. The poetry danced in-between where life was snuffed over time…or was it really. I took care of my great aunt who thought I was my mother. Mother had already passed. I let her think I was. Those last few years brought her back to life. I wondered if it was her living beyond what I could see, was just a different reality. Maybe she was really with Mother? You were diving deep. Really beautiful Miryam.

    • Miryam says:

      Thanks Kyle. I have been sharing the care of my mom with my sister for about 2 years. She is declining quickly now…. Yesterday I had to call 911… She collapsed in the shower & I barely was able to lift her out onto the floor. She is in hospital now on antibiotics for an infection that we did not know she even had. I thought she had left us, but Gd said not yet…. Thanks for letting me vent a little. It shook me up. Life is a mystery at times.

      • kyle katz says:

        We never know. You are the angel in her presence. Know that to be true. Your grace her with your love and kindness.

  5. Diane Cresswell says:

    My Mother went through the family senility patterns. There too were times when she would come into the present and then retreat to those halls of time. So beautifully presented Miryam. Such love flows through your words. I know this passage of life and it has moments of joy when they are present and moments of loss all woven together like your words have stated. Love this.

    • Miryam says:

      Thanks Diane…. I appreciate your comments.
      I have no real talent to invent a story. I am a selfish opportunist, writing what I see. This piece was my therapy session. AWWYP folks are the best!

  6. Shawna says:

    Oh, Miryam…
    How lovely and poignant and real. You pinpointed the moment that tells this story, which continues to tell itself long after the words end for me. The inner connections just keep right on tracing all the nuances even after a second read. I think this is remarkable…shades of Steinbeck brushed with White Shoulders.
    Exceptional clarity, depth and genuine tenderness, a rare thing indeed in these times. The path is long and full of heartache and strain, but the burden is imminently worth it.
    Thank you

  7. Amanda Byzak says:

    How touching! Brings back memories of when I took care of my 92-year old grandma. I look back now and am so grateful I had that time with her. Loved this piece! Nicely done!

      • Amanda Byzak says:

        I know that it can be all-encompassing but I also know that there are sweet moments like the one you wrote about that would not have happened if you were not there. And they will stay in your heart forever. I look back on many of those moments still today.

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