Thursday, October 23, 2014

why i don't photograph his face...

texted a friend the other day.  actually she is family, but a friend as well.  she was asking how pjm was doing and mentioned she and her husband might go see him.  i reply, "perfect. just let me know the day so i can make sure you are the only visitors on that day.  and my only request is you don't take photos of his face."


pjm had these bright blue eyes that told a story.  his eyes told me he loved me.  his eyes told me i was safe because he was protecting me & our family.  his eyes told me there was a joke full of sarcasm on the horizon.  his eyes told me he was exhausted from working in the field all day.  his eyes told me how proud he was of our children and their achievements.  his eyes told me he despised the cat we once had.  his eyes told me he hated that denim dress i wore-once.  his eyes told me i was beautiful without makeup or a fancy outfit.  his eyes told me thank you for a clean home & dinner on the table at the end of a harsh day.  his eyes told me he loved God.

but dementia has stolen the story his eyes could tell.  his eyes fixate on the floor, not on the life around him.  his eyes no longer visually track a plane in the sky.  his eyes don't warn him when a bee is too close.  his eyes don't notice the train passing by.  his eyes ignore the television broadcasting the morning news.  his eyes overlook the plate of oatmeal scotchies i have baked.  his eyes don't recognize his own face in a mirror.  his eyes no longer find me when i enter the room.  his eyes have forgotten how to tell his story.

another challenge of dementia is the mind forgets how to absorb nutrition properly.  pjm consumes plenty of food to fuel the walking he does but he continues to drop pounds.  his face is gaunt.  his limbs are thin.  his defined muscles are no longer.  his skin is dry, bruised and sores just don't heal.  again, his body is incapable of telling the story of life & vitality it once told.

and this is why my photos are like they are on instagram.  i want to always remember this chapter in our lives but i don't want the harsh details of dementia to be what is featured.  instead i want the moments of love shared to be the story.

Thursday, October 9, 2014


sweet brown eyes,
you're made of sorrel skin and mahogany curls
Panda triple orange chicken with chow mien,
cabbage pushed aside
Clash of Clans-Axe body wash-"Who Let the Dogs Out".
Oreo milkshakes, more bacon please and "remember when me & dad..."
a charmer of dogs & sweet nephews living to great a distance from here.
you're made of sweat on hot summer days
in relentless pursuit of mastering a slam dunk.

you're made from biology that is unknown
but love that knows nothing but.
july 3rd waterpark adventures & bootleg fireworks.
santa at Christmas because of the joy in believing,
contempt for mashed potatoes-oatmeal-greek yogurt.
you're made of hand holding over dinner blessings,
bowls of popcorn by the fire on brisk winter nights.
flannel feejays for the holidays & snowboarding in spring.

you're made from a family of sarcasm,
self-effacing humor and chocolate chip pancakes.
not enough fruits & too few vegetables.
beat boxing & the comfort of a noise machine lulling your slumber.
you're made from the love of mom & legacy of dad
and a brother & sisters gently holding his memories for you,
each ready to teach you daddy's values & adventures & salty humor.
you're made from God and His perfect plan,
you're my hope, wrapped in flawless brown flesh. driven by energetic muscles.

happy dozen sweet brown eyes.

love you. xo