My Poetic Path

My journey…shared in poems, prose and photos.

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

I would like to dedicate this poem 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.

Submitted for the OSI January 18th prompt: Fading Memories

Photo courtesy of: Flickr 

Author: Geraldine

I am a freelance writer, poet, artisan, avid book/product reviewer and award-winning cookbook author. I recently published the second volume of my new vegetarian cookbook series: The Groovy Green Kitchen (Volume 2): Simply, Super, Supper Soups and my inspirational, pro-active and fun book/eBook, all about aging well: Laughing AT the Grim Reaper! Gems of Wisdom for Aging Well. I am also the author of: The Groovy Green Kitchen (Volume 1): Weeknight Veggie Slow Cooker. Third Chapter, Second Chance (a mid-life romance). Not Just for Vegetarians: Delicious Homestyle Cooking, the Meatless Way and the poetry collections: Haiku Reflections: The Four Seasons (Volumes I, II and III) and My Poetic Path. These titles are available at all the Amazon sites. When I'm not writing or creating new recipes, I love to knit and crochet; usually with some "help" from feline friend, the yarn-loving Mr. Cheddar! 🐱 With Blogger, I also host my new author's site: Geraldine Helen Hartman and my product review blog: My Real Life Reviews. I hope you will visit often and enjoy all of my sites.😂 Thanks so much for stopping by. Wishing You a Happy Week and Namaste!

49 thoughts on “Fading Memories…

  1. This touched my heart Geraldine. Truly. I have cared for an elderly uncle who lost the ability to speak to a stroke. The memories were clear, but he had no way to share them anymore. So difficult. This is a poignant description of the aging process.

    Mr. Linky is a moody devil this week, so I am going to ask folks to be sure to leave a comment as a back-up way to network this week. Bummer!

    I do hope you feel better.

  2. That’s so beautifully poignant, G. It is heartbreaking and at the same time, utterly ordinary in an extraordinary way.

  3. What beautiful yet poignant words! Really touched me. I know of several bloggers who have become “parents” now that the parents are old and ill. The photo is just perfect for this one. Bravo!

  4. This poem is so sad but so true at the same time. It’s a fact that many family members face this situation. Excellent writing as usual.

  5. Hi Geraldine, this is wonderful. You put a lot of hard work, thought, and feelings into it.
    Our family elderly in this situation have all passed away to God’s reward for them. My turn is coming, I just know it. And I should be blind as well, all the men in my line for four generations were blind, including my Dad.

    We are watching, me out of the corner of my eyes and in the rear view mirror, The Notebook on ABC Family Channel. Your poem has a stage in that movie. It is very touching as well.

    I hope I don’t disappoint you, I am writing on the light side tonight. True and meaningful for memories but still on the light side.

    Thank you for the prompt, I enjoyed working with it a lot.
    I am glad you are feeling better, I have been gone for a couple of weeks and had missed that. I hope you keep getting better and better each day.

  6. Very nice and reflective. “She will cautiously guard her fragile independence. If only for a while longer.”
    Again her mind wanders to the past. All cannot be lost.”
    There were many things that speak here, of this period most of us will face one way or another.
    My dad just turned 92 years this past October & my mom will be 88 years old shortly. Although both of them are still together, things have certainly begun to spiral over the last couple years. It’s a time of reflection for everyone concerned but stressful non-the-less. I’ve done in home care too and I guess it’s been an eye opener as well… I guess a good reminder to put things in order (as best you can) ahead of time?

  7. ..”utterly ordinary in an extraordinary way”~beautiful & tender..many thanks..

  8. Deep, poignant. Love this line

    She will cautiously guard her fragile independence.

    So much said.

  9. Deep, poignant. Love these lines

    The mother becoming the child.
    The child becoming the mother.
    Trying to do their best..
    Of that one thing, she is sure.

  10. That is truly lovely and moving. Funny enough I wrote a short story this week about dementia, which I hope to see published over at 6Sentences.

  11. Geraldine, as you know, this is close to my heart too. You could have been describing my mother when she first came to live with me, and could still get out and about. I know the reversal of roles situation only too well. Those memories are so precious. I’ve approached the prompt from a different angle.

  12. Beautiful, poignant, moving. You captured the subject perfectly.

  13. Beautiful piece. Sad but she seems to look forward to Tuesdays:)

  14. Pingback: faded and not for OSI « four winds haiga

  15. oh geraldine,, this is absolutely one of your finest… i fear growing old ever so much more than death,, and being a single woman,, who in what seems like another life having abandoned all three of my own children,,, that feeling of uselessness and isolation can be devastating…

    you wrote this with so much heart it brings tears to my eyes and pains my heart……

  16. I really love this poem. Your sensitivity and compassion shine through. That moment in life when one must depend on others must be hard to bear. Yet it is just as hard to bear for those who care for elderly loved ones. Time is so cruel in many ways yet appreciating the times we can spend together as you outline so well, is a precious thing. Beautifully written!!!

  17. Beautiful poem. Im taking care of my father, so I can relate. Thank you for your comment on my piece at Clarity. I wanted to come over here and say hello.

  18. The dignity of this woman is so well preserved in this poem. Bravo!

  19. Geraldine, my mom could have written this. It it her life. You got every detail just right.

  20. That was so heartrending.The pain and anguish of watching a loved one go away is sometimes even worse than death…

    Beautiful take on the prompt!

  21. Geraldine, this is so perfect…like Jeeves I especially like the lines
    “The mother becoming the child.
    The child becoming the mother.
    Trying to do their best..
    Of that one thing, she is sure.”
    Because it echoes something my mother says after every visit by my brother — who has by default become the child-parent in the family. (I live too far away). Thank you for a beautiful prompt and a beautiful poem.

  22. A touching tribute to a generation, and an excellent coice of a prompt.

  23. very moving words, full of compassion for one in this situation. you have a real gift of insight

  24. Pingback: Beth Patterson : this may be a crime scene

  25. Believe it or not…I wear these shoes most of the time now and I find as time passes more it is the young who miss the memories from the elder than the aged one who is slowly fading to a New Day.
    Blessings come in different packages,

    I enjoyed reading your poem.

  26. I am getting old and blind. I forgot that you have to scan down on your post, as you get so many wonderful comments. So I will say, what I have already said … you have outdone yourself. I truly enjoyed this, as I have cared, and still do, for the elderly.

  27. Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who has stopped by so far to read this poem and also those of you who took the time to write a comment.
    Your words and personal thoughts on this poem mean the world to me.

    As many of you know, I cared for my own mom for many years while she gradually slipped away, due to dementia. The saddest, hardest time I have ever faced. I wrote this poem with my heart fully engaged. I am glad this came through. I am also grateful to read that the dignity of this woman shone through. Thank you for giving me such a nice gift to come home to today. Your comments were inspiring and heart-warming. I will be by to visit all your blogs during this coming week. I look forward to seeing your takes on this prompt and thanks again to OSI for using my prompt again this week.

    I would also like to inquire if any of you can suggest a poetry contest that is reputable and may be a good fit for this particular subject/poem? I have been reading that real life, family-orientated poetry is very popular. I am wary of many contests though, that do seem to end up being scams. Any suggestions re: a reputable, suitable contest to enter would be most appreciated. I’d like to see if this particular poem might having a wider appeal.

    Hugs and wishing you all a wonderful week, G

  28. this is so touching and sad, and yet reflects the reality of our life. The worst in life is i guess to see your loved once slowly fading away. Hurts a lot, but we can only do the best, caring for them, like they did for us.

  29. Poignant with reality that makes one’s heart ache. I’ve been watching the following blog for a bit and there are a number of contests and lots of information on it. I don’t often submit anymore but you might find something in here – as always, you can google with ‘scam’ to see if a source is on the up and up. Good luck. This is a lovely poem…

  30. great use of the prompt. this reminds me of a movie i had to watch for grade school.. about this lonely grandmother who lived by herself and each day she would walk down her street to look in her mailbox, hopeful of a letter. nothing came. day after day.

  31. You’ve written a very important and beautiful piece. It causes a myriad of emotions to surface in me and the message is well-received. I do not fear death but I fear separation and this is a very difficult transition into both those realms.

  32. Geraldine – thanks for dropping by and commenting on my blog – and for the well wishes (hope you are also feeling better!). What a treat for me to be able to read your lovely poetry too. Touching and beautiful verse!

  33. Your poem is absolutely beautiful. It sure captures the life of the elderly. The poem coupled with the picture are very powerful. I recently lost my elderly mother and the line about the parent becoming the child and vice versa is so heartbreakingly true. Your words will stay with me for a long time. Thanks for sharing.

  34. What a lovely and sad poem that gives us a glimpse into the aging soul. Thank you. Peace, JP/deb

  35. ohhh, this is so poignant in so many ways… the photo completely complements your story… all the more so engaging with personal connection…. she ponders the passing parade… beautiful… thank you for sharing so personal a lovely picture…

  36. Dear Lena, Sue, Floreta,Christine,Jana,Patti,Jane,Pie….Thank you all so much for your touching comments and insightful words. Every one means so much to me. Patti, I am so sorry for your loss. I know your pain.

    Hugs and thanks for your support, G

  37. PS to Sue: I just checked out that contest link you included with your comment. This is a wonderful resource site, thank you so much. I’ll be checking for poetry contest soon. G

  38. From your tender poem, I can easily see her and your compassion lets me inside those older and very precious ones in our society who need our understanding and much more…plus their caretakers. Your dedication also touched me.

  39. Beautiful poem *tears in eyes*. 🙂

  40. I like the quiet/calmness of this piece, it’s a bit sad but you described everything so well, I feel the solitude that she seem to be facing but there’s this uncertainty that seem to cling to her, just beautifully written

  41. Oh, this is achingly beautiful. I know so many who can see themselves as her children, her grandchildren or even herself.

  42. “fragile independence” – there’s so much in these two words…
    Your poem is beautiful, Geraldine, despite or maybe especially because of its immense sadness. Such is life. We have to take it in our hearts, with laughter and tears.
    *many hugs*

  43. Hi Emerald Eyes, Your comment touched me too. Thank you and welcome.

    Hi Ruinwen, Hugs back to you R. I feel your pain.

    Hi Lissa, The uncertainty is such a big part of what a person with dementia must fear. I’m glad this came through, thanks L.

    Hi Patois, So can I, so can I.

    Hi Vesper, I’m glad you enjoyed this poem. It is sad but there is also some hope still, as this woman clings to the happy days she can still enjoy.

    Thanks so much for all the wonderful feedback on this poem, G

  44. if i sit here typing for long I’m going to short-out my keyboard – such a lovely poem – so honest – so universal – so overwhelming

  45. Oh gosh, I’m in tears. This reminded me of my own bittersweet experience. Hugs to you, Geraldine.

  46. Belatedly reading this moving poem. I haven’t been on the blogs for quite some time. It’s lovely, G–outstanding. I’m happy to see the positive response to it–so many people can relate. It speaks volumes. Thank you and take care.

  47. Hi Kayt, Thanks dear Kayt, your continued support and feedback mean so much. I hope your computer isn’t giving you any further problems.

    Hi Chris, Your story touched my heart Chris. Thanks for sharing this link.

    Hi Caroline, Oh how wonderful to see a comment from you today. This is a poem that I know so many people can personally relate to, including you. Different stories but same sadness and sense of loss that we share.

    Hugs, G

  48. oh god..!! tears rolled out without my permission..!! superb writer.. i love my mom a lot…..lot lot lot lot.. i wish i could go back to her every sec..

Thank you for your comments!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s