142. Why You Stay

On our walk the other day

You told me

“I can’t wait

To get my old life back.”

Taken aback— 

I wonder what keeps you here?

When I look at you,

And see only skin and bones, 

I wonder why 

You stay? 

Then I see all the friends 

That come by—

The way they adore you; 

The memories you share,

The love that’s still there. 

And I remember, 

Why are any of us 

Here—

The answer 

Is love. 

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.