Sunday, June 24, 2012

Shameless Self-Promotion (for many good causes)

Some of you may not have seen the column that I wrote for Maria Shriver's wonderful website, so I want to be sure you don't miss it...not just because I am featured this week, but because of the multitude of great causes that Maria has consistently supported. An extraordinary woman of great accomplishment, Maria is someone I have admired for a very long time because of her authenticity and grace. Though she comes from a privileged family, she has had more than her share of personal challenges and always been an inspiration to women who wish to matter in this world.

That is why I was honored to be asked to write our story of Tom's Alzheimer's and how we are attempting to deal with it in our lives. While I know that everyone's journey through this wilderness of tangled brain connections is different, we all share feelings of fear, anguish, sadness and frustration. Our friends and family want to say something helpful but often cannot find the words. Quite literally, no one can understand unless they have watched a loved one be so terribly diminished by this disease. I desperately hope that something in our story will give encouragement to families who struggle with this on a daily basis.

Meanwhile, I urge you to visit She is one busy lady who is active in a wide variety of causes, many of which are critical to women in this country. I am more than honored to be connected to her and the things she cares about.

This poem is a closely related piece to the article  "In Spite of Everything: A Love Story."

A Single Moment

In and out of the sunlight,
darting between familiar shadows,
patches of lucidity amidst the fog,
you search for connections and meanings
to understand what was effortless
only yesterday, but which now is gone.

I want to help you, fix you, hate you,
I want to scream, to laugh, to fall apart.
I long to be indifferent –
but I am too accustomed to loving you
to change now, the line between where you end
and I begin blurred like a garden of wildflowers.

I wish to be larger than this mishap,
this mystery, that doctors only describe
in the vaguest terms, while our specifics
become memories that fade and falter,
your sweetness and submission exasperating
when I need a wall to push against.

My discontent feels gritty in my mouth
like pearls I have ground with my teeth.
I learn to avoid the fruit that will not ripen
and the metaphors without meaning;
I ride the back of the wind as far as I can go
in a single moment, for that is all there is.

Nancy Calhoun
“Dance on a Dirt Road: Poems for Life’s Rough Places”

1 comment:

  1. I found your Schriver article quite touching for a number of reasons and was pleased to find that you are also on blogspot.

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