I know it’s hard and you may resist believing me, but there’s something really important I want to tell you…
I know your physical strength is waning. I know you don’t like needing help to lift and move things that, at one time, would have been a breeze. I know you feel weak and fragile. But please, know THIS is true…
I will remember playing ball in the driveway and wrestling in the living room. I will remember the piggy back rides and I will remember your strength that always protected me. And with THESE memories, I will honor you.
I know you walk more slowly than you used to and you just can’t get your legs to go any faster. I know you are concerned that you are making us late for wherever it is we are going. But please, know THIS is true…
I will remember how we’d play chase and run through the fields together. I’ll remember when I was the one that couldn’t keep up with you. And with THESE memories, I will honor you.
I know that you struggle to tie your shoes. It’s hard to grip the laces and you grow tired during the process. I know it frustrates you that your fingers don’t work the way you want them to. But please, know THIS is true…
I will remember it was you that sat patiently with me as I learned to tie mine. And with THESE memories, I will honor you.
I know you can’t hear as well and you have to ask me to repeat myself several times. I know you feel embarrassed when you just can’t understand what others are saying to you. But know THIS is true…
I’ll remember when you would sit and listen to me tell you stories. I’ll remember how your ears were always open and ready to hear my heart. And with THESE memories, I will honor you.
I know that your vision is no longer what it used to be. I know you struggle to see the pages and ask me to read the words to you. But please, know THIS is true…
I will remember how we would cuddle up on the couch and you would read my favorite stories to me. I will remember how you taught me to see the details of my surroundings as we would drive the countryside together. And with THESE memories, I will honor you.
I know that you wish I didn’t have to feed you, wash your face, and comb your hair. I know that it’s uncomfortable to let me care for these basic needs. But please, know THIS is true…
I will remember the times that you took care of me. The times you fed me, bandaged me, and cared for me when I was sick. And with THESE memories, I will honor you.
I know you are scared and you startle at the slightest noises. I know that you feel embarrassed when you don’t recognize your surroundings. But please, know THIS is true…
I will remember how you would calm me when I was the one who was frightened. How you would make me feel safe when I was the one who was scared. And with THESE memories, I will honor you.
I know that you cry more than you’d like and you worry that you are burdening those around you. But please, know THIS is true…
I will remember the many times you wiped away my tears and helped mend my broken heart. I will remember all of the burdens you carried for me. And with THESE memories, I will honor you.
I know there are times you struggle to say my name. I know that you wish you could find a way to make your mouth say what you are thinking. But please, know THIS is true…
I will remember the many times you said my name with the deepest joy and the biggest smile. I will remember how proudly you would speak of me every chance you’d get. And with THESE memories, I will honor you.
I know that you think you are less than you used to be. You believe that because your body and mind do not function the way they did when you were young, you are less valuable or less lovable.
But know THIS is true…
Your value and your worth go deeper than what your mind and what your body can do. Your value and your worth are steady and never-changing. God declared that long ago.
AND WITH THIS KNOWLEDGE, I WILL HONOR YOU.
**This piece was written in honor of my father, Jerry V. Saylor, who lived his last years on earth struggling through the physical and cognitive effects associated with Lewy Body Dementia. He lived and loved well from 6/14/1947 – 8/19/2016. I also write this in honor of the many others who struggle to believe that their value and worth are never-changing in spite of the reality that their mind and body are.
6 thoughts on “When Your Mind and Your Body are Failing You”
What a wonderful way to honor and remember all of who we are and not just our last days
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Thank you, David.
Lungs struggle for breath
Still you show
How strong you are
Half marathon runner
Able to carry others burdens
Share love and life
Teach young children
Through song, dance and play
To love and live each day
To grow in truth and light,
Sun so bright
See nature small and nature big
To celebrate, to pray
Do I wish these things even now
Yes, so much yes
Not possible and yet able
Because you taught me how
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This is beautiful, Anna. Thank you for sharing it!
This made me cry!!! So beautiful… so honoring… so touching. Well -written and straight from your heart. I am honored to have known your father… what a wonderful man! I’m sorry he is gone, but so grateful his suffering has ceased.
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Thank you, Karen…