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



I think

my Mother thought

that I was an idealistic and naïve youth.

And maybe I was.

But I felt things so deeply.



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.


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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