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Posts Tagged ‘Alzheimer’s’

I just learned that Rod McKuen passed away this week. I was introduced to his work in 1972 by my high school art teacher. It forever changed my life in ways that affect me, even today.

In 2003 I read his autobiography “Finding My Father” and in the “age of the internet” decided to try to contact him. I e-mailed him and he replied! And not only did he reply – he wrote a lengthy e-mail with very encouraging words and advice on my writing.

A lot is happening in my life along those lines that I don’t have time to get into right now – but I did want to share this poem. This is entirely differently from the things I normally post on this blog – but perhaps it shouldn’t be – because this is real life. And all of our faith and prayers affect our “real lives”.

This was written in 2003, at a time of great personal struggle. I was 49 years old and was caring for my parents, (my mother near death) my husband’s parents, (his mother had Alzheimer’s) two teen-age sons, living on a farm AND running a very busy caning business… To say I was stressed was an understatement.

Then I wrote this…

Reading Rod McKuen

 

I haven’t really read Rod McKuen since high school

more than 25 years ago.

I’ve changed

or life

has changed so much.

I’m a wife now

and mother

and business owner

and caregiver

but I don’t know where “I” have gone.

 

My children would be shocked to know

what a complicated woman

their Mother was

is.

 

I think

my Mother thought

that I was an idealistic and naïve youth.

And maybe I was.

But I felt things so deeply.

Everything.

 

And now,

my life is so full

that there’s no time to feel

only react.

Each day runs into the next

and a moment’s guard let down

wrecks havoc with a schedule.

 

Even making love

becomes a 10:30 thing

take it or leave it.

And even at that

you wonder

will the kids hear us….

 

So what if they do?

They should be proud

that after 25+ years of marriage

their parents

still find one another desirable.

 

Someday they’ll learn

that it’s so much more than desire.

That to hold

and be held

is sanity.

Especially

when it’s a 10:30 thing

And I haven’t read Rod McKuen

since high school….

 

 

Betty J. Newman © 2003

 

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