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Annabel Sheila

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Gentle Stranger
by Annabel Sheila
Tuesday, June 05, 2012
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by Annabel Sheila
•  Connected
•  To Be or Not to Be
•  The Yearning
•  In This Place
•  A Playful Journey
           >> View all 318

I remember when my Mother-in-Law began to steadily get worse with dementia...her husband of more than sixty years used to think she didn't love him anymore...because there were times when she thought he was a stranger...it was heartbraking...it's such a terrible disease.....


Her vacant gaze cannot conceal
The fear that lives inside!
She can’t escape her tortured mind
And there’s nowhere she can hide!

She can’t remember who he is
And she can’t recall her life.
But now and then confusion abates
And she knows she is his wife.

The stranger that never leaves her side
Whispers tender words of love.
That she’d recall her life with him
He prays to God above!

The way he holds her shaky hands
And tenderly strokes her hair,
She sees the tears well in his eyes
And she knows the stranger cares.

In her face he sees the woman he loves
And he cannot let her go!
The pain of indifference is killing him
But he’ll never let it show.

Dementia is stealing her away
After sixty years his bride!
He’s known the sting of grief and loss
But losing her he can’t abide!

Tomorrow, or maybe the next day
He knows she’ll breathe her last!
But for now, he’s her gentle stranger
And he’s all that’s left of her past!

© Annabel Sheila

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Reviewed by JMS Bell 6/17/2012
MY...WHAT A RIVETING WORK. THE CRUELTY OF THIS DISEASE IS GIVEN FROM AN ASPECT THAT WE DON'T OFTEN LOOK AT BECAUSE WE USUALLY FOCUS ON THE DAMAGE IT IS DOING TO THE AFFLICTED INDIVIDUAL. BUT THE TORMENTING PAIN OF LOSING A LOVED ONE...A LONG, LONG TIME BEFORE THEY ACTUALLY TAKE THEIR LAST BREATH IS DESCRIBED SO WELL IN THIS WORK. THANKS FOR SHARING. LOVE, BLESSINGS AND FAITH...
JOYCE * HIS INSPIRATIONS
Reviewed by Erin Kelly-Moen 6/6/2012
Beautiful, Anna! Great flow of ups and downs, wonderful connections of words, feelings and meanings. The reader can relate to the emotions that were to be brought forth, ending with what you didn't even have to write. Soft saddenings are maddening. Or, jeez, getting old sucks! Dying sucks too. And yet, here we are.. Bittersweet.

Erin Elizabeth Kelly-Moen
Reviewed by Christine Tsen 6/6/2012
You bring great sensitivity to this tragedy, Anna, and it reaches the heart! I watched this with my grandma too, as a little girl.
Blessings,
Christine
Reviewed by Christine Alwin 6/6/2012
You bring a tear to my eye.....
Reviewed by jude forese 6/6/2012
you've composed this poem with grace and endearment ...
Reviewed by Ed Matlack 6/5/2012
This is a sad write, Anna, and it did invoke a tear on my part...I once knew a teacher that I respected and loved & he had this terrible disease as well as Parkinsons...I pray that his son, my best friend since I was very young, does not someday follow in his fathers path with this disease...well written and perhaps the best I have read today or ever on this subject...ed
Reviewed by Lonnie Hicks 6/5/2012
Stunning write about something so important. Many of us will be there one way it another. You have done a service by writing about it. Bravo!
Reviewed by Budd Nelson 6/5/2012
Annabel,
you have brought a terrible affliction to us with tenderness and compassion. I have a friends mother here who has alzheimers and your words are right on.
Budd
Reviewed by Ronald Hull 6/5/2012
This one made me cry a tear for all that they had lived and now they live in fear. Unfortunately, the only end to end this torture as for her to slip away.

Ron
Reviewed by Laura Fall 6/5/2012
A touching poem written so beautiful and dear as it is a sad illness and I lost my grandmother who was actually my adopted mother to this a year ago and heartbreaking it sure is .Laura
Reviewed by Mark Lichterman 6/5/2012
So sad, Anna, my friend. What a terrible way to end one's life, or one's love.
Mark
Reviewed by Jerry Bolton 6/5/2012
This is beautiful. I can't say anymore than that.
Reviewed by Patrick Granfors 6/5/2012
My mom has dementia and your words are coming true. She loses a little more ground each month but still does recognize me. Patrick
Reviewed by Felix Perry 6/5/2012
Dementia and Alzheimers have to be one of the saddest things that can happen to a person in life. To forget who you love, who loves you, your past....so sad. You captured your topic well Anna.
fee
Reviewed by Richard King 6/5/2012
A tear jerker for sure, Anna. Someday there will be a cure, but for all those who suffer now, I fear it will be way too late.

This one really hits close to home.

Dick.



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