A capital or a Capitol—which one? Peeking through the beautiful trees is the Capitol of the United States of America where so much business and activity goes on every day. Big stuff like the Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Forum visits that bring to the Hill awareness to Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and other forms of dementia. People (me, too) demonstrate our commitment to conquering this disease, marching on the Hill. You have friends on the Hill? Ask them for help to create a world without Alzheimer’s. With over 5.7 million people in the United States, and 50 million world-wide, we need everyone to help eradicate “the A’s.”
In the morning’s heat, sharing
Coffee and catch-up,
Long since last seen, a dear friend.
Soon to confess he didn’t know
How to act
Or what to say . . .
He stammered to grasp sympathetic words,
Multiplied his fluster and progressing pink cheeks—
All adding to his honest dilemma.
To the rescue flashed
My usual ready-to-smile grin-y grin,
A hug and hello quick break-in.
One not from confidence,
But he wouldn’t know that.
Only I feeling the crumble inside
Realize that it—my smile—seems not so
Forthcoming, and faithful,
But more hesitant, flawed somehow.
Depending, of course,
On what I may ask of myself.
And today, I wanted to genuinely
Overshadow any beneath-the-surface
Moldy mind decay.
His discomfort, foremost and first,
So that I might answer his tender inquiry,
“How are you?”
My warm reassurance reached for his fingertips . . .
Across the table, we held hands.
Looking at him, eye to empathetic eye—
I know. I feel his tenderness.
It is difficult to ignore—
But stop. Please stop.
I’m fine, I am. I know I am.
“Just great. I’m good,” lifting my voice a lilt for him,
Assured, adding in cavalier-fashion,
“Thanks for asking.”
We chitted. We chatted. This and that.
Easy as it had always been.
We like one another,
Friend to friend.
As I speculate into the unknown—
What did he really think?
And deducing . . . perhaps not mine to know.
‘Cause . . . if I ask him,
Does he feel he can be truthful?
Second coffee drained, and me, too.
Certainly—time to go.
It’s all good, our hug told me so.
We’ll see each other again, sooner.
For time is of the essence
And true friends
It’s not about an enemy invasion
With ground soldiers dodging bullets
Labeled – enemy.
It is a Word War. You are marked, none the less.
Stomped into the medical system
With such furor, danger appears – and disappears
into the miles of files.
Hidden deeper, far under the paper foliage.
Does that mean the terrorist is gone?
No, Memory Soldier.
Listen. I awaken in the wee hours.
What is it I see,
Besides the 2a.m. clock’s face?
I see an enemy of mine–Unruly Mind.
That’s what I see
…and the infernal marching of time.
What is it I hear?
Am I what they say of me?
Or… am I still the same ol’ me?
Why does it matter?
Does it matter?
Oh, it matters what they say!
Diagnosed to the Battlegrounds of A.
The end result is all the same,
No militia needed from outside in
For disappearances hasten from inside out.
Remember me, it is my inalienable right!
Stand up. Fight without ravished despair.
“Enemy, don’t count me out,” I say, I say, I say
What’s in a label any ol’ way?
I’m needed by people
– L A B E L E D people, like me.
Splash on a smile,
Be who I want to be,
Not afraid of who I am becoming.
To awake at night, fearful of forgetting
Important and precious things like …
People. Dates. Times. Appointments.
I am not in control. Please help me, God.
Thoughts jumble, words disappear.
Times mix up, promises go astray.
When I hear, “Where are you?” “Are you coming?”
Eyes water, stomach churns, humbled in disbelief.
I know I have done it again!
Do I stay home, cancel, quit?
Or fight for right of passage through the fog?
Silently, I say, I am not what I appear.
I am sorry for what you see.
Breathe in courage,
Splash on a smile,
Struggle to remember …
I must find pieces of myself and revel in who I know I am.
Chin up, treading lightly in new uncharted waters.
At times, I catch sideways glances, back and forth.
Perhaps, even, your voice impatient.
But, wait, we stand together, separate.
Can you hear me? I have so much to tell you.
I try to mask the imperfections.
A dab of foundation, a blush of pink.
Dressed in clothes, jewelry, and resolve.
Daily, though, I have to make sense of where I am.
On the sliding scale of … Blue. River. Apple.
I want to be Positive.
I am Productive.
I am Loving and Beloved.
I am Grateful, Creative, Alive.
Therefore … I am blessed with a voice to tell my inner story.
Blue. River. Apple.