You Will Always Be My Valentine

as I walk the mourning streets alone
holding the hand that isn’t there
her memory calls to me

my love teacher

smile!
life is a precious gift
delight in the wonder of each new day
embrace the sun’s warm touch
dance with moon shadows
drown yourself in the pleasures of flowers
play with children
laugh with babies

love

love

simply love

maria y steve in sand copy.jpg

you will always be my valentine

tio stib

You might also enjoy: My Dementia Diary; Life Journey Poems & Prose

My Dementia Diary 60 – Her Smile

I’ve not seen it for years
but I hear it, feel it
fluttering its butterfly wings in my soul
flitting through the garden of life’s memories
flying through my dreams

her smile

what would life be
without the heartbeat of love
without this boundless joy
this radiant light
that melts the clouds of doubt
the storms of despair

away

away

her smile

how can something
so long unseen
still fill my heart with hope

I am blinded by the bliss of love

 

tio stib

You might also enjoy: My Dementia Diary 13 – This Child Who Once Was Woman, My Dementia Diary

 

The Gift

yours was a gift I could not see
a quiet heart that treasured me

a smile that always answered

yes

a voice that offered no duress

a strength that ever held my hand
my buddy in the promised land
a care that never questioned why
a child’s grace that could not lie

you gave a gift that I now know
was purer than new fallen snow
that laughed with joy
and danced as we
flew with butterflies
and sailed dreams’ seas

then came the day
and you were gone
and tears drowned out what once was song
and lonely months slipped into years
to emptiness that no one hears

but as I walk the silent shore
I hold your hand in mine once more

I clutch the feeling in my heart
a memory lost to view
that precious gift you gave to me

I was loved by you

tio stib

You might also enjoy: ‘Walking With My Lover’s Ghost‘, ‘And I Smiled

 

 

 

Burning Dreams

today
I burned our dreams

all the visions
all the goals
all the plans we’d made together

I placed them on a funeral pyre

lit them up

let them go

watched them melt in flames
felt them float away in smoke

and I smiled

for together
we lived those dreams
walking hand in hand

in the heart of God

tio stib

You might also enjoy: The Memory of a Single Rose; Inspiration

The Blind Side Parables – 12

“Uncle Dan, I’ve got a problem.”

The blind uncle stopped rocking in his chair and turned his head to face the boy standing on the porch.

“And what is it?” responded the old man in a soothing voice.

“It’s Priscilla, she’s asked me to be her date to next week’s prom,” said the bashful Ernie, a good looking young man of sixteen years who was clueless about girls, even neighbor Priscilla, who he’d known and played with since they were toddlers.

“Doesn’t sound like a problem to me,” replied Dan, “she’s a smart and kind girl, and I’ve heard she’s quite pretty.”

All true thought Ernie, Priscilla was the neatest girl he’d ever known, and so pretty he often found himself tongue tied when she spoke to him.

Perceiving the boy’s silence as confusion, Uncle Dan pushed, “so what’s really bothering you?”

Ernie stammered, then blurted out, “I don’t know how to dance.”

Dan laughed, then cried out, “of course you don’t. But we can fix that easy enough.”

Wide eyed, Ernie replied, “Really?”

“Really,” answered Dan, who then gave his nephew instructions on where to find a box in his bedroom closet. Ernie disappeared, then returned moments later with a small cardboard box. He held it out to his uncle.

“Open it,” said Dan.

Ernie removed the lid. Inside was a pair of brightly shined new shoes, and not just any shoes. These were hand made, sleekly fashioned shoes with leather souls.

“What did you find?” asked the old man.

“The finest pair of shoes I’ve ever seen,” exclaimed the boy.

“Them’s dancing shoes, son. With those shoes on, you can dance all night like Fred Astaire. Them’s the shoes I wore to take your Aunt Winnie out dancing,” said Dan, then added softly, “and how we loved to dance.”

“Really?” asked Ernie, touching the shoes reverently.

“Magic shoes, boy, you put them on and you can dance anything, just let them take you away with her.”

“Wow!” said Ernie, picking up one of the shoes and eyeing it closely. They were truly beautiful shoes.

“Put them on,” insisted Dan.

Ernie stopped, “No, I can’t, they’re yours.”

“Only memories now, son, Winnie’s gone and our dancing days are done. Time for some new feet to use the magic.”

Ernie sat down on the porch steps and cautiously put on the beautiful, shining dancing shoes.

“How do they feel?” asked Dan.

Ernie stood up, wiggled his toes, bounced his feet up and down on the porch.

“It’s amazing. They fit perfectly.”

“Of course they do, they’re magic shoes,” replied his uncle.

With that, Ernie began swooping and swaying, embracing an imaginary partner as he pranced and danced about the porch. Uncle Dan smiled.

Finally, Ernie stopped in front of Dan and asked, “can I borrow them?”

“Of course,” said his Uncle, “but, you must do one thing to keep the magic going.”

“Ernie listened intently.

“Once you start dancing with your true love, dance with her every day until the music stops.”

*   *   *

In the cool evening air, Ernie looked out as the  sky turned crimson. He rocked slowly in the same chair, on the same porch, his uncle had shared with him years ago.  Ernie had gone to the dance with Priscilla, worn those magic shoes, and they’d danced every day for nearly sixty years, until Priscilla passed.

He smiled, remembering when his mom had told him those shoes were meant to be a present from Winnie to Dan on their fiftieth wedding anniversary. But Winnie’s heart had failed before they could share that dance, and Dan had never worn those shoes.

Moral: If you are blessed to find your perfect partner, dance, dance, dance until the music stops.

tio stib

You might also enjoy: The Blind Side Parables – 11; Life Journey Poems & Prose

and I smiled

holding the year’s last rose in her hand
she disappeared
whisked away on the first day of winter
gone forever on a cold December day

my head said it was for the best
said I could not give the care she needed
said I had to let her go

my heart said

NO!

I made tea
cleaned up
pretended I was strong
wondered why I could not hear her near me
why I felt so empty and alone

and I cried
cried hugging all the memories
cried as I walked with her
danced with her
cried sitting with her on the seaside bench
our faces kissed by the morning breeze
cried hearing her sing out to passing children
cried as I touched her sleeping softness
cried every day through the longest winter of my life
cried far into sunnier seasons

this morning, when I opened my eyes
I thought of her once more

and I smiled

tio stib

You might also appreciate: You Will Always Be My Valentine; My Dementia Diary

 

Without

there is no happy
without sad
there is no good
without bad

there is no high
without low
there is no stop
without go

there is no wrong
without right
there is no dark
without light

there is no courage
without fear
there is no far
without near

there are no tears
without smiles
there is no distance
without miles

there is no quiet
without din
there is no out
without in

there is no wild
without tame
there is no different
without same

there is no peace
without strife
such are the facts
of daily life

and from these truths
I choose my fate

I will be love
and without hate

tio stib

2015, 2020

You might also enjoy: Walking With My Lover’s Ghost; Life Journey Poems & Prose

My Dementia Diary 103 – Besame Mucho

We have a favorite song, “Besame Mucho,” by the Mexican artist Consuelo Velasquez. Whenever we hear Andrea Bocelli singing “Besame Mucho” on the radio, we stop whatever we’re doing to dance together, reminded of how blessed we are to have found each other.

Even now, as I hear Andrea Bocelli singing “Besame Mucho,” I hold her tight and dance with the memory of our love-

Besame, Besame mucho
Como si fuera ésta noche
La última vez

Besame, besame mucho
Que tengo miedo a perderte
Perderte después

Besame,
Besame mucho
Como si fuera ésta noche
La última vez

Besame, besame mucho
Que tengo miedo a perderte
Perderte después

Quiero tenerte muy cerca
Mirarme en tus ojos
Verte junto a mi
Piensa que tal vez mañana
Yo ya estaré lejos,
Muy lejos de ti

Besame, Besame mucho
Como si fuera ésta noche
La ultima vez

lyrics from “Besame Mucho” by Consuelo Velasques

Kiss Me A Lot (English translation)

Kiss me, Kiss me a lot
as if this night were
the last time

kiss me, kiss me a lot
that I’m afraid to lose you
lose you afterwards

kiss me, kiss me a lot
as if this night were
the last time

Kiss me, Kiss me a lot
that I’m afraid to lose you
lose you afterwards

I want to have you very close to me
To see myself in your eyes
to see you next to me
think that perhaps tomorrow
I will be far away
far away from you

kiss me, kiss me a lot
as if this night were
the last time

beseme mucho copy.jpg

Besame mucho!

tio stib

You might also appreciate: Both Sides Now; My Dementia Diary

 

My Dementia Diary 91 – The Last Rose

tenderly
I placed it in her hand
the last rose
the last flower
from the summer garden of our life

she touches the petals to her lips

smiles

and they drive her away

disappear

and she’s gone

oh, how my heart aches for one more kiss
to touch her forehead to my lips
to slowly breathe in the woman
the rose that captivates my soul

but the road is empty now
I’m left alone

wandering a winter garden of memories

tio stib

You might also enjoy: This Child Who Once Was Woman; My Dementia Diary

River of Words

River of Words

my life floats down a river of words
on paragraphs, syllables, tales once heard
they call out as I drift by
love and pain, both truth and lies

emphatic “yes!”
a stolid “no.”
the overused, unhelpful “so”
“goodbye”
“forever”
“I’ll be there”
“why not?”
“you said”
“I don’t care”
“quiet, please”
“how can I think?”
“have you ever seen the sky so pink?”

the words speed up
the rapids roar
fearful sounds from times before
then I’m lost and swept away
chaos and cacophony
gulping right and spitting wrong
gasping as I’m thrown along
shouting voices, “me! me! me!”
screaming insecurity
then bashed on conflict’s argument
my heart gives out
my soul is spent

in drowning plight
I see a dove
one final thought
remember

love

the verbal roar falls far behind
consciousness comes back to mind
as grace, sweet heaven, sets me free
and quiet waters welcome me

my life floats down a river of words
heading towards a voice unheard
yet whispers on the waves call me
“you can, dear one, you can be free”

love

love

love

tio stib

2017, 2019

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