Reflections for a Friend

Carol A. Hand

I was saddened to hear you’ve begun a new journey, dear friend
To a distant place that, although common, still has a mysterious end
As I watched you struggle to find words, it was my heart that cried
Yet with your usual grace, you simply replied
You’re not worried about losing memories that are sometimes hard to bear
Of hardships and the most painful losses in a life that often didn’t seem fair

I will remember you as I first met you, your radiant smile and sparkling eyes
Scrambling over obstacles with your cane under sunny summer skies
I’ll remember how much you taught me about gardening and life
When we shared “tea for three,” laughing ‘til tears flowed despite stories of strife
I’ve always found your uncensored honesty an absolute delight
Even though you always felt you were intolerant, somehow just not right


Photo: Butterfly Garden Mystery Plant (Lychnis Chalcedonica)

As you begin the journey of Alzheimer’s dear friend, this is all that I can say
I’ll remind you, if I can, of the kindness, joy, and laughter you always brought my way.

Copyright Notice: © Carol A. Hand and carolahand, 2013-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carol A. Hand and carolahand with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

21 thoughts on “Reflections for a Friend

  1. It is so vey hard to lose a friend to Alzheimers. I lost a beautiful friend to it a few years ago and it was heart wrenching but at the same time a powerful reminder to be grateful. Your friend sounds like a very special person with a very special attitude. I don’t know if I could be as accepting as she is.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words and for sharing your experiences, Bernadette. My mother had Alzheimer’s for the last 13 or more years of her life. It is a “heart-wrenching” disease for friends and family, and often tragic for those who are diagnosed. I remember my mother’s reaction – she was humiliated and didn’t want anyone to see her that way. My friend’s reaction is very different than my mother’s or what I envision mine being.

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  2. Carol, thank-you for showing us the power of love by example, even in this tragic situation. I’m sorry for your loss! A moving tribute to a dear friend and beautiful friendship.

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  3. How incredibly sad, especially given new evidence that the low fat high carboydrate diet (that western medicine has been promoting for the last 50 years) is a major factor in the epidemic of Alzheimers. In fact many doctors and researchers are referring to Alzheimers as Type III diabetes.

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    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comments Stuart, and for sharing important resources. It is incredibly sad to see my friend struggle with words and memories- she has such a wealth of knowledge about so many topics. Alzheimer’s has been increasing and, as you suggest, is exacerbated by diet and lifestyle in ways we’re still trying to understand. There are so many toxins in the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, and just about everything we buy.

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  4. Thank you for writing this Carol. I have taken care of Alzheimer’s patients during my carrier when I was not in Health Visiting. It always made a deep impression to see people reduced to focusing on very few things like: ” where is mama”? or “I want coffee now!” Over and over again. My father lost his inner man the last years of his life. He was a shadow of himself

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    1. I appreciate your comments, Maria. Thank you for sharing your insights and experiences. This is a puzzling illness – tragic for families and an unknown, perhaps unknowable, experience for those it affects. I’m so sorry to hear about your father. It’s so difficult to witness this. My mother slowly declined too, over the course of more than 13 years.


      1. Yes to see your parents become helpless is very difficult to grasp and also difficult to talk with them about. Our parents used to be strong. My mother died 7 years ago yesterday from cancer in the cerebellum. It has taken me some years to remember her as she was before she got so ill. Blogging has helped me

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        1. I’m so sorry to hear about your mother’s suffering and death, Maria. It’s so painful to witness. My mother’s death was 5 years ago, October 10. I agree that blogging helps us remember and heal, and also creates something for our families so they can remember too.

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