Suitcase of Memories

Written by: Diane Forth-Eglon

My darling, you've lost the power of speech
But your smiles and laughter need no interpretation!
All I have are memories; some hazy, some clear
Is it crazy that I can't remember what your voice sound like?
You would talk to anyone and everyone!
You'd brighten the day of the street cleaner
And put the lower deck of the bus under your spell
The atmosphere would change from silence to laughter
Helplessly infected by your rich sense of humour
It breaks my heart that you don't know who I am
The one who played a major part in your life
Sometimes, we'd sit for ages and not verbalise
But as our eyes locked, a thousand visual words would spill
No need to ask for translation
Our thoughts and emotions laid bare
Now, when I start to sing your favourite songs
Your eyebrows rise in faint rememberance
But it should be me that you recognise!
I talk to you as if you'd understand
As I've no idea what your brain does know
A smell, a sound might just open your door
Bring a light to your darkened, tangled world
There are times when you give warm, tender kisses
I never want to part my lips from yours!
Then you go and breathe hot, sweet breath into my mouth
That tells me, "I do love you, darling, I do!"
Then there are the moments when you gently hold my hand
I'm reluctant to wash it after that!
It speaks of an unbreakable, unmistakeable bond
Of journeys through joy and sorrow
I need those arms of yours around me once again
Telling me our love is strong
I need your squeeze of the shoulders once more
And your reassuring, "It's alright, Pet"
But in the end, a pair of wooden arms
Drape around my back
Devoid of feeling; of heart and soul
Instead of those reassuring words
I hear a feeble, "rararara"
Your chest like a rumbling lawnmower
Black, empty eyes ask, "Who are you?"
Oh this Alzheimer's has taken you captive!
So I must cherish these precious moments
And make room in my suitcase for happy times
Preserved forever, to bring out a smile