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Monday, November 16, 2009

Alzheimer's

The following is a prose submission published 1994 in NMSU-Grants Branch Inscriptions to honor my mother-in-law, Mary Milan Gunn, deceased 1996.
Between Here and There
Somewhere between here and there lies Mary's mind... Where it briefly rests depends upon the day, the hour, the minute. Eighty-five years of struggling, working, giving and loving tucked away in a golden box with no key for the rest of the world.
Family, lifelong friends, fellow board and committee members, church members, those touched by her existence-astray in the maze of her mind.
Perhaps Mary is better off not understanding the daily happenings of the world, that her friends are no longer alive, that her family finds it unbearable to visit, not recognizing the person before them.
Those who care about the total person know her body needs protection from her mind. They are left to deal with well meaning people who simply do not understand that she needs a safe place.
How sad it is for her body to be here and her mind to be there. If only they could be united once again.




2 comments:

  1. I met an English teacher at the YMCA a few years back. She had Alztimers. It was in early stages. She said she had trouble with nouns, remembering people, and places at times. She was very embarrassed by it, but her kindness and spirit is what impressed me most about her.

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  2. I've worked in assisted Living for the past 5 years - many of our residents were ALZ. They were the happiest residents in the place. They had their moments of anger and pure frustration - but they are the ones that made me smile...every one of them! If you said something that offended them, they would forget it and be your best friend 30 min or 1 hour later. It is a gift to them in many ways. The difficult part lies with those who knew them before their minds were abducted by this horrendous disease. They do need protected. This is for sure. They are so vulnerable. Mary was blessed to have you, Barbara, with your understanding, in her safe zone! God bless you for your insight and kindness towards her.

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