139. What a Wonderful Life

We were not talking about sex,

So we laughed, when out of the blue

You told us,

“No screwing in the kitchen,

That’s not nice.”

Your husband smiled at you

With a mischievous twinkle in his eye—

“Have you ever screwed in the kitchen Lesley?”

You returned his sly smile with one of your own.

“Sure”

Your answer rolling out playfully slow.

Your husband winked at me,

“That’s how you got to be the tall girl in the kitchen—

It was meant to be.”

He looked back at you,

“What a wonderful life.

We made a lot of great love, 

Didn’t we? We still do.”

You were beaming,

“Yeah, we’re good love makers.”

(I became known as the Tall Girl in the Kitchen two summers ago. Before we took my mother off all of her medications—the side effects being worse than her disease—she would ask my father daily, “Who is that tall girl in the kitchen?”)

The Poetry of Dementia is an ongoing project to share my family’s journey with my mother’s illness as a year of moments. We do not know whether my mother will live a full year—or perhaps she’ll live longer. Her dementia has been a bittersweet and beautiful journey that has already taken us places we never imagined. Loving and caring for her at home has fundamentally changed each of us, and daily reminds us to live in the present with love, trust and patience. Click here to read from the beginning.