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

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: Her Smile; 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

You might also enjoy: Floating, A Mirrored Smile

The Memory of a Single Rose

has love been worth
the silly fears of youthful years
the agony and sobbing tears
rejections, dejections, emotions tossed
plans and hopes and dreams now lost

has love been worth the unmet wants
the emptiness of sensual haunts
the births, the deaths
the final breaths
the agony of cried regrets

all this for a glimpse of bliss
the rapture of a secret kiss
a sudden smile
a soft caress
the eternity of souls confessed

and so I ask a broken heart
as time tugs our love apart
was it worth the cost
the moment’s flame?

ah, yes
sighs the sent
the sight
the memory 
of a single rose

again

20100531 Roses from Laura 002

tio stib

You might also enjoy: My Daily Lama, She Thinks Pyrex is Perfume

My Dementia Diary 73 – Sex, Fishing, and Other Goodbyes

Don’t it always seem to go
that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone

Joni Mitchell, “Big Yellow Taxi”

As I listened to Joni sing about paving paradise, I realized I’ve recently lost two big things in my life.

Sex and fishing.

Fishing used to be my soul food, what I craved when life went sideways, dreams were slipping away, or I just needed a break from the human race. My typical fishing trip was an impetuous decision to get out of town, followed by tossing rod, clothes, and snacks into the car and heading out. I had some trusted spots and a mental list of obscure places on the map that had possibilities. I was often several miles down the road before a clear direction became obvious. Location really didn’t matter much, I just wanted to be standing alone in a stream, feeling the sun’s warmth on my face, filling my nostrils with the invigorating air of wildness, casting a fly towards some trophy fish fantasy.

One of the many blessings of our marriage is that my wife found fishing intoxicating too. I remember her excited squeals when she caught her first trout and her delighted giggles as she released it and watched it dart away. I remember looking past her at the backdrop of golden aspen leaves dancing in an azure sky, on a glorious fall day. I remember thinking this is as good as it gets.

Blindness ended such impetuous outings. In time, I found a guide who took the pair of us down a favorite river in his drift boat. It felt great to be on the water again, but I can’t pretend it was anything like before. Still, we enjoyed floating through a quiet world on a beautiful day, trying to wake fish who didn’t want to play. The tranquility was shattered when dementia struck and my wife’s mind melted down. She had to get out of the boat. Words could not calm her and the guide rowed us to shore.

We haven’t been fishing since.

Then there’s sex. We’ve been wonderful, passionate lovers, always open, always eager to please each other. With us, it just happens, a kiss, a touch, a fond embrace and love unfolds. But, recently, I noticed that, in spite of these triggers, nothing else was happening. The woman who once loved to play sexually was now a child who just wanted to be cared for. Dementia had stolen another part of the woman I love and the life we shared together.

My blindness has put such losses in perspective. I’d never expected to lose my sight and the experience was devastating. But I survived and, with the help of friends, learned to explore and appreciate all those things in life that can’t be seen. I also learned that things we treasure can disappear in an instant.

Do I miss sex? Heck yes, and I also miss my wife’s killer guacamole. But these things are not coming back so I need to be grateful for what we do have. She still loves to kiss and hug and she’s very good at it. She still makes my day on our walks when she rushes up to coo and smile at every baby we meet. She still holds my hand as we sit on our favorite bench on the beach and share the feelings of living in a beautiful world.

And fishing? Another tough goodbye, but the fly fishing rod that sat on a shelf by the door for three years waiting in vain to be taken away on another impetuous adventure is now in the hands of my new son-in-law who has a a matching passion. I expect some marvelous stories will be coming my way soon.

In case you’re a Joni Mitchell fan, here’s a link to “Big Yellow Taxi.”

tio stib

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

 

My Dementia Diary 64 – Holding Hands

we have reached a place
where holding hands
is a pleasure
beyond orgasm

we have become
an incalculable oneness

after miles
years
of laughing, loving, sharing
a life together
I reach
expect
her soft, strong, tender fingers
to entwine with mine

my heart banishes all thoughts
that one day her hand
will not be there

tio stib

You might also enjoy: The Walk to Paradise Garden, My Dementia Diary