My Poetic Path

my journey…shared in poems, prose and photos

Fading Memories

24 Comments

fading memories
She sits in the diner, far from home.
Lunch rush over.
Blessed quiet restored.
It’s Tuesday, “her day”.
A crosstown bus ride, now a secret and special delight.
Away from the caring but claustrophobic family.
Still time to look back on happier days.
Trying to hold on to precious, fading memories.
 
The hours to savor, often still hopeful and good.
But too many others, a haze of uncertainty and doubt.
For now…
she will cautiously guard her fragile independence.
If only for a while longer.
Keeping them guessing.
Or so she hopes.
 
Where did the time go?
When did the children grow up to rise above her?
Knowing “what’s best”.
The mother becoming the child.
The child becoming the mother.
Trying to do their best.
Of that one thing, she is sure.
 
She grasps fervently and desperately to the time left.
To revel in these sacred moments alone.
Savoring her own thoughts.
Not willing to give up without a fight.
Or without a backward glance.
 
Her time alone brings other thoughts too.
The hard ones to contemplate.
Regrets for roads not taken.
Dreams not reached for.
Perhaps another knight in shining armour?
Now he will never find her.
Or can he, will he?
As she sits and waits.
 
She ponders the passing parade.
The hustle and bustle of a generation she will not embrace.
Again her mind wanders to the past.
All cannot be lost.
If she can hold on to that which she alone possesses.
For now, the diner is her refuge from that onslaught.
Time’s cruel and often insidious ways.
It marches on and waits for no one.
 
The owner looks over and smiles.
Another cup of tea, before she is on her way?
“Yes, thanks.”
After all, it’s just another Tuesday.
And tonight…
the bus will return, just a little late.
 
     
               
“Fading Memories” © 2008 Geraldine H. Hartman
***

Dedicated to all the people who are caring for elderly loved ones; tragically watching their memories fading away.

Sometimes we must face, a long, heart-breaking goodbye.

***

This is a poem that seems to have struck a chord with many people.

You can read the original post with comments here.

From the poetry collection: My Poetic Path.

***

Also, sharing one of my all-time fav Elvis songs for this week’s prompt:

Memories.

This video includes some great photos from Elvis’ life.

Submitted for the June 9th Woven Dreams prompt: Memories

Photo courtesy of: Flickr 

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Author: Geraldine

I am a freelance writer, poet, artisan, avid blogger and vegetarian cookbook author. I recently published the first volume of my new vegetarian cookbook series: The Groovy Green Kitchen: Weeknight Veggie Slow Cooker and my first novel: Third Chapter, Second Chance, a midlife romance story. I am also the author of: Not Just for Vegetarians: Delicious Homestyle Cooking, the Meatless Way and the poetry collections: Haiku Reflections:The Four Seasons and My Poetic Path. When I'm not writing or creating new recipes, I love to knit and crochet; usually with some "help" from feline friend, yarn-loving Mr. Cheddar! :<) I hope you will visit and enjoy all of my blogs. Thanks for stopping by. Namaste!

24 thoughts on “Fading Memories

  1. I’m so grateful that my mother, who passed in her 86th year, was still completely independent and memory fully intact, but my mother-in-law, who passed away four years ago, had severe memory loss and it was very very hard to watch her flounder in her last years.

    Beautiful, Geraldine, and very touching.

  2. OH Geraldine, you’re writing is written in my heart in my soul I have seem my mom die too young in a place she didn’t know didn’t recognize, but I went to see her all the time, she always recognized me, angry, sad, happy, she always knew me. And I will love her ’til the end of time…and what you wrote is beyond beautiful and sad and true and meant for all who will be there one day…I am saddened yet happy that you are such a vivid, remarkable writer. Like Talon mentioned about being touching, I am touched beyond words. Thank you!

  3. What a beautiful poem you wrote, Geraldine. It shows so vividly what one goes through on the inside when they begin to lose what they cannot gain back. I wrote a poem many years ago as a tribute to my father who died in 1982 from malignant brain cancer. The tumor caused him to lose his memory, his thoughts and words got all scrambled when he tried to talk and was sort of a slur like someone who had too much to drink and he could not recognize us in the family anymore, not even my mother who took care of him up until the day he was admitted to the hospital for his last few weeks of life. I relieved her on days so she could get out for a break while he was still at home. Since Father’s Day is coming up I am going to post a picture and the poem in his memory. The poem is also much like what Alzheimers patients go through. it is very sad to watch the parent or loved one you loved and who raised you and took care of your every need one day become like the child themselves as you speak of in your poem, so beautifully told. I hope there will be many who see and read your poem.

  4. Geraldine, I just noticed that ‘memories’ is the word prompt for this week, so will post my poem for that. It will fit in perfectly. :)

  5. Thank you, Geraldine. I am now resolved to hang on to independence as long as I can.

  6. Hi Talon, It is very hard to watch loved ones struggle with the memory loss or to be the one experiencing this tragedy. My mom had dementia for the last few years of her life. It was the saddest time I’ve ever gone through. But I am grateful for every day I had with her and that she never forgot who I was. We had some happy, fun moments too, in spite of all the sadness. that’s what I try to dwell on now, and the earlier years we had to share. Thank you for sharing your own experience with family members.

    Hi Lorraine, And wasn’t that a blessing, to know that your mom never forgot you? :) It helped me so much. I’m glad this touched your heart L. Thanks for your kind words.

    Hi I’m looking forward to your memory post Joyce. Sounds like a beautiful tribute you have planned.

    Hi Valerie, Good plan Val.

    Yes, we all have to think about the future and try to age well, in every way. I know I work on improving and preserving my memory already and in a number of ways. And keeping an eye on what we eat and getting enough exercise too, to avoid strokes, etc…. We can impact our health significantly by the choices we make along the way . It can make a big difference in the long run too.

    Hugs to all of you, G

  7. Such a lovely prose poem. I have also written poetry on the subject of Alzheimer’s and other illnesses. My husband had frontal lobe dementia (he passed in November) so writing helped me handle the difficulties of the illness.

  8. This is an excellent poem. So well written. It describes it all. You can feel this woman’s emotions coming through the words.

  9. what a beautiful poem….love the story telling….its bitter swear a bit…i love the bus coming just a little late in the end…..this scares me honestly…..the loss of ones memories….i think at that point i might take a walk into the woods…maybe…though i am glad she has her place to go….

  10. A sad poem but you tell the story beautifully!
    The mother becoming the child.
    The child becoming the mother.
    So true how at times these roles get reversed.
    Is that a new picture at the top? Miss the rocks, but I do love that yellow bike!

  11. Hi Rose, Welcome to MPP. I’m so sorry to read about your husband’s illness and passing. Lots of hugs to you.

    Hi Joe, Thanks so much dear.

    Hi Brian, I think it scares everyone, not just about our loved ones but personally too. I lived through this tragedy with my beloved mom and it tore me apart. I think the saddest memory I have at that time was the day I realized (early on) that she could no longer knit. Her yarn and needles were just a jumble. :( I couldn’t accept what was happening for a long time but that came eventually. But we still had lots of laughs and quality time during that sad period too. A couple of miracles along the way…now my mom is free and is the beautiful, talented woman that she always was, again.

    Hi Robyn, Thanks so much Robyn. Yes, a new look here, I did some “sprucing up” ;) at all my WP blogs yesterday. I loved this bike and thought it was in keeping with my “path” blog theme. I want this bike actually LOL. ;) All I’d add to it would be some flowers along the front of the basket! Then it would be perfect.

    Hugs and thanks so much for your thoughtful comments, G

  12. Geraldine, it’s because so many of us are either there, or dealing with this….thank you for writing such a moving post.

    Jen

  13. Oh my goodness! this is an awesome poem Geraldine. I think it is my favorite to date. So much beauty and emotion in here and so relatable! Love it!!!

  14. LOVE that yellow bike header, Geraldine! :)

  15. Thanks for sharing the Elvis video too, great song and some great photos too.

  16. This is beautiful. Made me think of Mom. Hugs! :)

  17. This made me cry, Geraldine. I remember it from last time I read it and it still touched me just as deeply.
    I love the love in it and the quiet determination of not going gentle into that good night. Thank you!

    And I love your new photo – that bike is so happy! :-)

    xoxoxo

  18. Hi Jen, Thanks for your kind words.

    Hi Teri, Thanks so much. There is a lot of mixed emotions that I tried to convey. I’m glad it came through.

    Hi Talon, A bit of fun I thought! Isn’t this the coolest bike. ;)

    Hi Joe, Oh what a voice and what beautiful words to this song.

    Hi Ruinwen, Made me think of my mom too. Hugs to you too friend.

    Hi Vesper, Yes, the determination is there, along with the uncertainty and doubts. It must be so upsetting to feel like this, in so many ways. Thanks for your kind words, always.

    Hugs to everyone, G

  19. As someone who had a very close relationship with my late mamaw, this post really touched me and made me quite emotional. Thank you for writing such a beautiful post :)

  20. A beautiful and poignant poem. Thank you.

  21. It IS so sad for sharp minds dull to a vague quagmire with age, stroke, or anything else that robs one of memories. Beautifully written!! :D

  22. Oh yeah that is helpful, and contrary to anyone’s belief that I know my stuff about cameras, let me tell you what I know, look, like, shoot lol
    very informative, thank you G. and also LOVE you heading that Bike full of country charm

    that’s for tomorrow’s post on digital cameras since it wouldn’t give me the details below

  23. Hi Keith, I’m so sorry for your loss. And thank you for your kind words. Your mamaw is always with you. I have no doubts.

    Hi Jackie, Thanks so much Jackie.

    Hi Becca, A tragedy whenever this happens, for whatever reason. And one that touches so many other lives at the same time, by their own loss.

    Hi Lorraine, Thanks for your kind words re: my new header and glad you enjoyed the photography tips. This is a topic that is always being updated, the hard part is trying to keep up with all the new tech stuff. I like that: know, look, like, shoot….it works!

    Hugs to all, G

  24. <3. There is this beautiful melancholy in this poem. I love how you keep your words so simple but very touching. I always remember people who have to go through so much loneliness in life. I experienced starting an orphanage in African and there were many stories of sadness and abandonment. Thank you for writing with your soul.

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