( This post is on aging related memory loss, hallucinations and dementia. It is about a parent, about us all. This post is about a wish, a song)
You call out to me from the garden. “There is a face peeping through the leaves of that mango tree. Can you see it? It moves with the breeze. The nose twitches, the eyes crinkle. Can you see it? Can you tell?”
How i wish, how i wish you were here.
There are places you go to.
I can’t keep up with your pace and so i am content to listen to the stories that you bring from your travels. I see the adventure in your eyes, hear it in your laugh. Your voice carries me away to bamboo forests, to sand dunes, to angry monsoon rivers, to cold depressing blankets of snow. i feel the deodar leaves rustle as you touch them, i feel the sand in my hair, i breath in all the different colors of the tulips, i taste the strawberries that you managed to grow much to the surprise of everybody, and i marvel at the makeshift bamboo ‘canals’ carrying water from little mountain streams to that patch of green peas. i feel your joy, your fears, your loss. i walk through your tales and live them, never losing the thread, always wanting to hear more so that i can piece that time together.
Sometimes you leave for places i can’t reach. I squint my eyes and try to hold on to you, but you leave anyway. And it is always so sudden, without any warning goodbyes. One moment we will be pruning the plants in the garden, and in an instance the weather changes. i feel the sunlight clamp down on my heart, and i know without looking around that you have left. But you come back, you always do, and that thought itself keeps me warm. i do worry about you and to be honest, also about myself. I worry that someday you may walk on so far that you may forget the way, or that you may just be too tired to walk back.
Meanwhile, there are places you go to, in your mind. And i try to keep pace, i really do. i grasp at the stories of your youth, of my growing up years, of times long gone by and i try to keep them in the neural pathways of my memories, all nicely wrapped in soft scented tissue. You see things that i can’t, well i can’t immediately, but then i try to look at it your way and sometimes it all fits together. There IS a face that peeps through the leaves, it moves with the breeze. I see it now.
i realize how it must be for you, walking alone, wondering if you are on track. i see the confusion in your eyes at times as you hold on to me, to familiar things. i feel your desperation as you fill sheets of paper with irregular blotches of blue, trying again and again to get your signature correct, wondering who changed the boundaries. i sense your fear as you try to make sense of little things, as you falter to put a name to a face, as you struggle with the connections that conspire to confuse you. It must be so frustrating to move between worlds.
i know now that you get lonely and afraid, that you hold on to the network of your memories as you wish desperately for a familiar name, a face, someone who could make sense of the mess, wishing someone was there with you. i want you to know that we shall walk through this together, you and i, making sense of things, building bridges over our fears., picking up the pieces of the jigsaw, trying to figure out what goes where.
Why does everybody look on so patiently when you tell them about where you had been, where you are? There is a fine veil between what is real for me and what is real for someone else. It has always been like that, hasn’t it? All of us flitting in our spaces, so surefooted at times, and then instantly confused. Is the glass half-empty or half-full?
Do you think you can tell?
There is a voice within us trying to make sense of it all. There is always a wish tugging at our voids.
How i wish, how i wish you were here.
(P.S. For the title of the post and the italicized lines, i refer you to Pink Floyd.
This post seems to fit todays Daily Prompt: Is the glass half-full or half-empty? http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/05/05/daily-prompt-the-glass/ ? )