attempt to comfort what cannot be cured


My mother knocked on my door today

To say that she was lonely.

I invited her in.

She had walked from her house, 5 doors down.

“I’ve lost my mind!” she exclaimed.

I hugged her and said that everything would be okay,

Silly girl that I am.

“No, it’s not okay!”  she insisted.

“Come in,” I said, thinking the stereo playing Marvin Gaye was not appropriate.

I ran to turn it off.

“What’s happened?” I implored, “Why are you afraid?”

“I don’t know,” she cried, “I’m just so lonely,

And I know that I can’t think anymore.”

I ran through any repertoire in my bag of comfort words

I was not sure I had any to fix this…

Only that I am here.  I will answer the door.

I will go to her house, bathe her, tuck her in…

Whatever it takes.

I sat beside her in our big white chair,

Careful not to hurt her legs by sitting on her lap.

“I’m here to take care of you,” I crooned, as she cried like a child.

My husband arrived about that time and surveyed the significance of the moment.

“Yes,” he said, “And you can fold my laundry whenever you want!”

She brightened, “I’m gonna hurt you!” she challenged. 

This is the game they play.

She cries her most desolate tears

And he runs alongside her and teases her out of despair.

How does he do that?

I’m still in the white chair, caressing her cheek,

Devastated that the disease has her in its grip.

He is dealing with her in the now.

Thank God for her son in law!

Her daughter is a basket case.

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2 comments on “attempt to comfort what cannot be cured”

  1. Lost my dad to LBD in October, and I feel so for you in this journey you’re on. It’s so hard to have our loved ones go through this darkness. But at least she has you. Think of all those sad people in the nursing homes who’ve been left there, and nobody visits and nobody cares. You are a blessing. May the Lord give you strength for what lies ahead.


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