Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Unsung hero

Rose vdw is one of my unsung heroes. She is gentle and compassionate, a good friend and poet. She is quiet spoken, a lover and supporter of art. She bakes a mean apple cake which I savor with relish. She is also a help in working through my feelings concerning my mother who is suffering with dementia. Rose, for about 16 long years, visited her mother with Alzheimer in the ‘Cocoon’. This soft spoken soul however was a power house when she felt her mother had not been dealt with as she deserved. The institution offered ‘comfort care ‘, which turned out to be mainly comfortable for the nurses. The patients would be bedded down every day and every night. They were no longer dressed, nor would they sit at a table to eat, or sit in a comfortable chair in the afternoon. Then the daughter became the advocate who trembling with emotions of sadness and anger would defend the quality of life of her mother and thus also of the other patients. When my mother's illness began, Rose would answer my questions, sometimes sketch what awaited me in the logical evolution that was to follow. She gave invaluable insight and thus acceptance of what was to come.

Here a moving poem about her mother’s reaction when Rose's father passed away.

I have loved him so much, she said.
A month before he died - he couldn't
eat a bite - she had set out there
the same stack of sandwiches
already for fifty years. He fumed.

A wounded lion. The berry jam, soon a
bloodstain on the carpet. In almost
a scuffle he was felled by her as if a feather.

I have loved him so much, she said
while crying and unknowing of the days,
now angry, then again fearful was left behind.
On her own a passport with a spotless past.

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