Daily Prompt: Don’t You Forget Me/Staying in Focus:Remember For Me

Daily Prompt:Don’t You Forget Me/Staying in Focus: Remember For Me

This Daily Prompt is a tough one, but one I’ve thought a lot about,  given my diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. I believe I will leave a few legacies that will reflect well on my life. The first, of course are my boys and my grandchildren.  I am proud of all of them  and hope that some of the values I’ve tried to instill in them  by the kind of life I’ve lead, will guide them, and in turn be handed down to their children.

The second legacy I’m not sure of, but I hope that in being involved in education and teaching most of my life, there are people out there on  whom  I have had  a positive influence. They may not remember me, but the possibility is there.

And third,  I hope that my photographs, scrapbook albums , poetry and books  have reached people and affected their lives in a positive way

IMG_2768I made a scrapbook entitled “All About Me” and I’m writing a scrapbook memoir, not out of hubris, but to make things easier for my family when I’m gone.  They’ll have  a ready-made retrospective to display should anyone wander in to bid me farewell.The memor is really for those who come after me, way down the line. Wouldn’t you love to have  your great great great grandmother’s life story, written and assembled by her own hands? I also made the scrapbook for myself. In this regard it is not a matter of “Don’t You Forget Me,” but rather a “Don’t Me Forget Me and You.  A frightening corollary to Parkinson’s disease is dementia and this is one of my greatest fears – that I will not only forget who I am, or who I once was, but that I will forget you, too. My family, my friends, and the people I write to out there in the world.

Sometime after the reality of my diagnosis set in, I wrote this poem to give to my husband if I should start fading away. It’s not entitled “Don’t You Forget Me” but “Remember for Me.”

Bill, Remember for Me

Sadly, I know that there will come the day

When I will be gone or my mind drifts away,

So I’d like to record this for posterity

And ask you, please, to remember for me:

That I loved birds and bright butterflies

Fluffy white clouds and brilliant blue skies

The warmth of the sun and soft summer showers

Planting my garden with colorful flowers

Autumn color and winter white

The twinkling stars that brighten the night

The wash of the waves on the edge of the sea

And mountains were always most special to me

I loved taking pictures and reading my tomes

And the hours I spent writing my poems

In the hopes my words would last longer than me

Each one a small part of my legacy

And my family, oh, how I so loved them

and, oh, how I wish I could do it again—

for my childhood was filled with love and laughter

and with you, I discovered that “happily ever after”

could last a lifetime, you took care of me

and made my life the best it could be

I cherished my babies and the men they became

And I cherished my grandchildren with all the same

love and delight I had with my boys

for the small ones  are blessings and life’s  greatest joys

I had many fine friends whom I cherished as well

So many good times, too many to tell-

But I want them to know that I valued each one of them

And oh, how I wish we could do it again!

 

I so loved to travel, the cruises we took

To jump out of bed and take a quick look

a peek out the window excited to see

where in the world we happened to be

Alaska was beautiful, the highlight for me

were  the humpback whales

majestic and free

and the British Isles a dream come true

touring England and Scotland and Ireland  with you

And if someday, I seem far away,

It’s just that my mind’s found a safe place to stay

Where the butterflies land on the colorful flowers

and my skin is caressed by gentle spring showers

and  as the sun sets amidst  a pink orange hue

we walk toward the sun, just me and you

you’ll always be with me, my lover, my friend

And oh, how I wish we could do it again.

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