Ever had those days when you get stuck? I don’t mean a little stuck. I mean SHUT DOWN everything kind of stuck. Well it happened to me. No matter what I tried, a paragraph, an article, rewriting already written pieces! Nothing would help. I decided to take out one of my Poetry tools, and just play. My work, teaching, sometimes keeps me in left brain so much, I forget to jump to the right brain and just play, And who doesn’t love to play?
Since I’ve been writing my dad’s story, I decided to at least try a tool that might assist me toward this goal. So, I made Alzheimer’s a character. Weird, right? It was glorious! I used a poetry technique called Personification. What would Alzheimer’s house look like? What kind of car would it drive? What would it’s clothes and shoes be like? That’s only the start and pretty easy to fill out a list type of thing. Lists become handy when you’re stuck, but this made me a more targeted list.
But where things get really juicy is going deeper. How do I get to the heart and soul of Alzheimer’s and showcase the role it plays in people’s lives, both bad and good? I begin to write down Alzheimer’s “friends” and “enemies.” Once I know who Alzheimer’s friends are, I am naming out loud what parts hurt and what role they play in my life-word thief, relationship thief, sadness, depression, scatterbrained and scarcity, locked vault. Then, as I name Alzheimer’s enemies, I get to name what parts I am missing in my life, so I can name my loss and again renew the process of healing- happiness, peace of mind, abundance, HOPE.
And even deeper – EVERY CHARACTER HAS A REDEEMING QUALITY –
Just like anything in life, there are two sides to every story, even Alzheimer’s. Though it’s a terribly rotten disease that robs loved ones of many precious events, it still offers gifts. So what is Alzheimer’s redeeming quality? CHERISH – It reminds me that every day is precious and to hold on and linger with every moment I have with my dad. I MAKE MY CONVERSATIONS WITH MY DAD COUNT! I record each conversation, even the little ones. I want to remember my dad saying I love you. I want to remember the silly sayings and funny voices he uses to greet me each day. I want to remember that this vaulted man took a chance on ME. He is trusting me with his precious life books. He is trusting me to hold on to those stories that in sometimes day to day life are elusive to him. He, like all of us, wants to be understood before it’s too late. If I didn’t cherish the time I had with my dad, I might have lost out on learning who he really is. Without this time, I might not have really honored and treasured that precious laugh and sense of humor. I am blessed in this moment.