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ALIHIKES
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Mom very ill. Poem

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Mom is very sick again. She has congestive heart failure and her heart is just not pumping right. The hospice RNs advised my sister to track me down on my ski vacation and let me know her time is limited. I have packed the car and am leaving for her nursing home in California. I had already written this blog and not posted it, when I finished a project to collect and print (in BIG print so she could read them) all her poems. So I am posting because I thought some of you would enjoy reading her very perceptive thoughts on aging.

She is 93 and funny and witty. She wrote this poem for us on the occasion of her 90th birthday party. She was writing poetry until about 6 months ago.

The Bad News and the Good News—May 29, 2009

Amid the birthday greetings, the laughter, the levity,
I hate to warn of the woes of chronic longevity.
Since chronologically speaking, you’ve miles yet to go,
And the dismal details you’d maybe rather not know.
But “tempus” does “fugit” so you should be aware
Of the physiological pitfalls that lie in wait for you there!

I’ve encountered things lately I haven’t enjoyed,
Certain medical malfunctions you should try to avoid—
The memory grows shaky, joints constantly crumble,
Newsprint grows smaller, other folk always mumble.
Chins and wrinkles increase, so alas, does the derriere;
Various parts that are sagging make the silhouette scarier.
And though the wish for each day may remain, “Carpe diem!”,
Now the prayer for each night is “Take the ‘pee’ out of p.m.!”


I’ve listed the items that evoke my invective,
But don’t be dismayed by my glum retrospective,
Because the rough, bumpy road to being this old
Is surprisingly frequently paved with gold!
You can still smell the flowers along the way;
You can fall asleep guilt-free any hour of the day.
You’re no longer expected to join a committee,
Or attend social functions and be lively and witty.
The faltering memory will excuse you from blame
Each time you forget your best friend’s first name.
You can bypass the broccoli, spurn the spinach, and then you
Can unabashedly work through the dessert end of the menu.
You don’t have to finish every book that you start;
All the folk you love dearly grow nearer your heart.

So enjoy the “wine” and the “roses” and “seize the day”!
May life shower you with blessings along the way.
You’ve been the light of my life for all of your years;
I’ve rejoiced in your laughter, when you wept I shed tears.
Always remember when the time comes to part,
That heaven for me is being held in your heart.

(Poem by Alihike’s mother)

Pray for her that her passing will be peaceful and pain free. She has refused treatment other than palliative care.
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