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

Walking With My Lover’s Ghost

walk with me
I hear her softly plead
come
walk with me

and so I rise and go
take the hand that isn’t there
feel the joy in her smile
the smile only my heart can see
hear the memory of her gleeful calls
her waves to passing children
as she scampers to greet them

hugging close
faces glowing in the morning sun
a gentle breeze caresses us
sitting on our seaside bench

I kiss her tenderly
taste the love upon her lips
inhale the sweet scent of her soul
embrace the grace that made us one
blessed us

touching the emptiness beside me
tears slide down my cheeks

come
I plead
walk with me

and I rise again
move on

walking with my lover’s ghost

tio stib

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

Walking With My Lover’s Ghost

walk with me
I hear her softly plead
come
walk with me

and so I rise and go
take the hand that isn’t there
feel the joy in her smile
the smile only my heart can see
hear the memory of her gleeful calls
her waves to passing children
as she scampers to greet them

hugging close
faces glowing in the morning sun
a gentle breeze caresses us
sitting on our seaside bench

I kiss her tenderly
taste the love upon her lips
inhale the sweet scent of her soul
embrace the grace that made us one
blessed us

touching the emptiness beside me
tears slide down my cheeks

come
I plead
walk with me

and I rise again
move on

walking with my lover’s ghost

 

tio stib

You might also appreciate: You Will Always Be My Valentine; 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 102 – The Final Chapters

Talking with her as she cheerfully ate breakfast, I realized that she didn’t know me, didn’t remember that we are married, that I’m her husband.

The woman I married is gone. In her place, a beautiful child whose mind slips further and further into oblivion each day. All we can do is make these days as comfortable and happy as possible. In time, she will need help with the simplest of tasks, bathing, feeding herself. She will be more and more disconnected from reality, from us, from me.

Those final chapters will be a very difficult journey.

I’m going to stop writing here. Other family have taken over my wife’s care and my role has changed from sole caregiver to caregiver support. We all know what’s coming but we’ll do our best to make each remaining day in my wife’s life joyful.

I suspect few of us consider how our lives or the lives of our loved ones will end. I certainly avoided the subject until dementia shoved death in front of my face.

Yes, this has been a painful journey, but it’s a journey I’ve been able to share with my wife, with family, with other loved ones, a journey that, although anguishing at times, has also been rich with the deep intimacy gained by sharing life’s ultimate challenge.

Namaste’

tio stib

You might also appreciate: Her Smile; My Dementia Diary

 

 

My dementia Diary 101 – Gratitude

Yes, dementia sucks and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but living with dementia has also brought blessings. The experience of being my wife’s caregiver has pushed me to be a better person, challenged my ability to love and forced me to be humble.

We have received help from family, friends, and unexpected places, good people who have stepped up when we needed assistance. In a world that often seems filled with cynicism and negativity, I have been given renewed faith in the basic goodness of human beings.

We’ve had the sweet perfume of roses and buzz of hummingbirds just outside our door.

We have a A treasure chest of wonderful memories from our life together that lights up dark days.

Although dementia is slowly taking my wife’s mind away, it has not taken her cheerfulness. Her joyful smile continues to light up my life.

I’ve never known a more perfect example of love than my wife, my Maria, she is my hero. I could not have been more blessed than to find her smiling face in front of me when I opened the front door that fateful day a dozen years ago.

tio stib

You might also appreciate: Her Smile; My Dementia Diary