Posted 6/25/21 (aka 6 Months Until Christmas!!! Breaking out the Michael Buble/Kelly Clarkson Music ASAP….)
The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; Numbers 6: 24 – 25
Wow…another week in the can. 🙂 This is week #2607 for me in what is a blink of an eye compared to the age of the Earth or, better compared, eternity. The older I get, the faster time flies… Thank you so much for sitting at the Cornbread table with me this fine day. I just had a quick little poem for your consideration today. I hope you like it and understand me a little more through my odd little rhymes. 🙂 I am not a poet, a writer, nor a runner…I am a husband, a dad, and a son…but my heart is in the right place.
My brother and I played with an old, miniature train set waaay back.
As primitive as it was, it was still fast…and actually kinda scary.
You plugged the transformer directly from the wall through a box to the track.
The jolt would render my slick young arms hairy.
“It’s My Toin’ to be Conductor!” I still would beg, but lose… with a twhack.
While swinging at the park, I stared, amazed, as it passed.
Modern roar replacing its old school chugga chugga, chooo choooooo.
Still Majestic and Powerful and Strong, yet utilitarian and fast.
(Sigh) “They don’t make trains like they used to.”
Mimicking my grandpa (whose wife died of dementia), what experience had I amassed?
Walking and whistling on the tracks going home from grade school
I stopped to fish out a polywog and tote it home in a cup.
The train track was my shortcut home when the wind was cruel.
We’d stick a penny on the track, then observe it close up.
“Look how smooshed and stretched out this thing is! Soooo cool!!!”
I was so happy for summer vacation because we always went to SDC.
Silver Dollar City is a great amusement park for kids and parents alike.
Roller coasters, funnel cakes, and fun as far as the eye could see.
But its train ride to see the robbers is what made my heartbeat spike.
“When I have kids, we will move to Silver Dollar City” I would dream with glee.
Staring at the ceiling, tethered to the spiral-corded phone.
A mullet-haired lovebird talking for hours and hours to my beau.
Passing from my phone to hers was a train’s dulcet, yet firm tone.
“Hey, I can hear it on your phone now! I feel closer to you! Just a stone’s throw!”
Even with family fighting in the other room, I was sad, but not alone.
Adult-ish, married, immature, I fished off a railroad bridge spanning a lake
I had so much to learn about being a grown-up.
“I needed ‘alone time’ to figure life out, for Pete’s sake”
I would whine to my new bride after a fight and make-up.
I would cast, watch for a train, and wondering much effort a marriage would take.
During these years, like a speeding locomotive, life was quick.
Three kids, 2 houses, many jobs and busy years.
Focused on myself, little did I know that my mom was getting sick.
Anxiety over memory issues, her diagnosis nears.
We should have saw it faster, but somehow it just didn’t click.
Mom was diagnosed with “a mild case of dementia” and other things too.
The “other things” were familiar and scary. Dementia? What is that? She remembers fine.
But she got over these “other things” and the memory issues…and danger grew.
We could hear the train whistle and see the headlight light shine
But we stood around, not knowing what to do.
Covid-19 plowed into mom’s nursing home like a train that jumped a track.
Previously we visited her daily, but the pandemic locked us outside.
Alone, quiet, she lays around wondering if we have given up and will never come back.
Some weeks we get to visit, others Covid brushes us aside.
Her time is short, please cut us some slack!
Even my fundraiser for the seniors and caregivers had this theme,
Saturday, June 19th, I Ran Til’ I’m Purple on an old track for a cure.
If I believed in fate, I would say it was fate’s scheme
to integrate trains into nooks and crannies of my life, for sure.
The coincidences seem to be much more than a dream.
Trains are everywhere in my story, and they may always be.
Perhaps they, here, can be a harbinger for me and for you?
Entering Dementia’s tunnel will leave you scared and unable to see,
wondering what on Earth you are to do.
And this train ain’t stopping until we can finally #EndALZ
Update: Nothing. Nada. Can’t get good info. Can’t visit. Hospice is barely able to go because she isn’t “bad enough” to warrant it even deep in end-stage. I will keep praying and keep looking forward to riding the visitation train back to see her again unfettered. Such a terrible disease. I sit here wondering and worrying that the last part of her mind is the lying one that tells her that we have probably just forgotten her. Terrible.
Fundraiser update: I am going to keep the fundraiser open until at least my birthday on July 9th. We are nearing $5900, amazingly! Astonishing! Thank you all…everyone who has donated, thought of donated, prayed for me, and the rest. You are super appreciated and loved more than you know! Have a nice weekend!
Here is a video of the train ride I mentioned in the poem. 🙂