The Longest Day 2018
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Haskell's Story
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Haskell has shared with us several of his heartfelt poems.

My wife of 54 years is now in a nursing home because she has primary progressive aphasia. I wrote this short poem that sums up my thoughts about her condition.

As night approaches, ever slowly.
The light of reason dims and fades.
What used to be a mind that does
Is now a mind that never was.
and memories that once we knew
Will vanish as the morning dew.

And yet, and yet
A spark remains
Though in the shade
Until it too
Will dim and fade.

Just as Before
Why don't you smile as before?
Why don't you laugh as before?
Why do your eyes look at me unable to see?
If I could change anything  I would change winter to spring
I would teach your heart to sing
Just as before

If you would speak, you'd say remember me.
Not as I am but as before.
And all my memories would still remain
I will relive them once again.

I will still care as before
And I will share as before.
I will be with you each day
Just as before.
And as the days hurry bye
their may be times that we cry.
And still our love will remain
Just as before.

We Could Have
We could have seen our dreams come true.
We could have vowed our love anew.
We could have shared a thousand smiles.
We could have walked a thousand miles.
We could have seen the morning sun.
We could have slept when day was done.
We could have been a happy pair.
We could have gone most anywhere.
But life said no.
You cannot go.
What could have been can never be.
What cannot be you'll never see.
For life is cruel.
It has no shame.
It brings you joy or gives you pain
And yet we dream and plan our way.
But in the end we have no say
But live we must.
Each hour each day.
We fill our hearts with hope and pray.
For a peaceful tomorrow.
And a brighter today.

I've written another poem this time about life in general. I call it June and December. I still had my wife in mind when I wrote it.
June and December
 I still remember
June and December
It seems so long ago.
June was the month for laughter.
December the cold wind blows
We were still young.
With love all around us.
Shielding us from the cold.
June seemed to last forever.
December was put hold.
But time swiftly passes.
Constantly changing
Not always for the good
It was the month of June
But December would come to soon.
I feel the cold wind
Starting to blow now.
Turning the Green to Gray.
June had just slipped away.
Now December is here to stay.
Although it's December
We must remember
Life will go on someway.
All we can be is hopeful
That June will return one day.

I Miss You  
I miss you
Though you are near to me
I miss you
Though you're not here for me.
I'm with you so you are not alone.
I miss you
When I go home.
I miss you
Though you seem far away.
I miss you
Though I am here each day.
It hurts me when I must say goodbye
I miss you.
Sometimes I cry.
I miss you
Though you can't speak to me
I miss you
Though you don't know it's me.
And when I ask "why should this be?"
There is no answer to comfort me.
It's sad but it's true
It is what it is
There's nothing more I can do.
But I'll hope for the best
And will pray for the rest.
It's the only thing left to do.

Life's Trunk
We wish for riches
And for fame
We wish for miracles
To ease our pain.
We gather things
To give us pleasure
And search our memory
For buried treasure.
We place them gently
Inside life's trunk.
We close it tight
And out of sight.
We take them out
From time to time.
You take yours
And I take mine.
We dust them off
And when were done.
We put them back
One by one.
But time is mean
And does not care.
So you my friend
Should be aware.

With passing years
There comes a fear.
What's in your trunk
May disappear.

She Sits Alone
She sits alone each passing day.
A silent figure in most every way.
She's not of marble or of stone.
She is a loved one far from home.
She has no sense of time or space
She has no use for style or grace
At times her smile lights up the room
But always ending much to soon
She looks at me and does not see.
But I will keep on hoping
Perhaps,perhaps there'll come a day.
When she will look and there I'll be.
She shows no anger or no fear.
She shows no happiness or no tears.
She sits alone without a voice.
Because I fear there is no choice.
She cannot walk
Or can she talk.
She will not meet you.
Or will she greet you.
She cannot go.
Unless she's taken.
But one thing's certain.
She's never forsaken.

Just The Way She Is
When were all her thoughts diminished and destroyed.
When did all her words just stop from being heard.
I wish that life were kind.
Instead it seems so blind.
But I still love her just the way she is.
When did all our dreams just seem to disappear?
When did all our hopes turn into silent tears?
It seems it's all in vain
And life is not the same.
But I still love her just the way she is.
When did all her fears become reality?
She would fight though it was still her destiny.
There is no one to blame.
And yet there is the pain.
But I still love her just the way she is.
When did all my nights become just endless days?.
When did how I live change so dramatically?
The reasons are so clear.
The answers what I fear.
But I still love her just the way she is.
When did I become a distant memory?
When did I become someone that may not be?
The times I see her smile
Makes all this seem worthwhile.
And I still love her just the way she is.

Should We
What should we do if life is cruel?
What should we do to ease the pain?
Should we just cry although in vain.
Or should we stop and try again.
Should we forget the passing years?
Should we forget the joys and tears?
Should we just close this tattered book?
Or should we try a bold new look.
Should we just wish away our sorrow?
Should we just hope our dreams come true?
Should we just whisper of tomorrow?
Or shout so we can be heard..
Should we let the madness of life?
Diminish hope and give us much strife.
Or should we do what we think is right.
To vanquish our fears and help us to fight.
And still the gentle breezes blow
Never ending to and fro.
Ever changing yet the same.
Should not our life be but the same.
Precious moments how rare they are.
Guard them gently with great care.
Other moments will soon depart.
Precious moments are in your heart.
A gentle touch a friendly face.
Are pleasant moments you can replace.
Your first romance, your first prom dance
Are precious moments you can't erase.
But moments always turn to hours.
At times as slow as seed to flower.
At other times it flies right bye.
As quickly as a winking eye.
And then the hours will turn to days
And days are always numbered.
We number them and name them too
Without this choice what would we do?
And then from days we go to years.
And years are always counted.
The day were born is when we start
From that day on until we part
We celebrate each passing year.
With friends that  fill our hearts with cheer.
But when we count the years gone bye
There's trepidation and a sigh.
And when we count we never know
How far or long were going to go.
Perhaps it's soon, perhaps it's late
There is no choice it is our fate.
But count we must, and be aware
These moments are most precious..
So keep them near to calm your fear
As time and count progresses.

Book of Life
We live each chapter of our life
In wonderment and constant strife.
Each word is new
Each sentence true.
Each chapter is demanding.
And when it's time to turn a page.
We know not what awaits us.
It could be joy
It could be sorrow.
Could there be a better tomorrow?.
But we can question what we read.
And if we do we may succeed.
And if we don't we must proceed.
But when we reach the final page.
We close the book and exit the stage.


Alzheimer's Association

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