Gathering Words for the Long Goodbye
Will the day come
When I call for you
And a stranger answers?
Will I pull my hand free,
Shy from an embrace,
Explaining “I’m sorry! But I’m married.”
Will I have a glimmer of recognition
When I see grandma’s ring
On your finger?
My father was admitted to a facility dedicated to patients with severe dementia. My sister had tried very hard to meet his wishes and keep him in the home he had shared with our mother until shortly before her death, but he had become ever more confused with the caregivers who stayed with him. Lately he occasionally referred to one as “your stepmother,” and my sister knew it was time.
I have a not-totally-irrational fear (considering family and personal history) of losing my mind to dementia.