Isaiah 49:15: “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!”

It was several years ago when my siblings and I began to notice that our mother had changed. She began to displace things on a regular basis and became extremely suspicious of people. Our mother is the one person out of nine people aged 65 and older who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia that deposits abnormal protein in the brain while destroying cells in the areas that control memory and mental functions.

Memory loss causes a lot of grief for both dementia patients and their loved ones. I expressed some of these emotions in a poem I wrote for my mother.

Brain     

I forgot my brain today
I must have left it in the kitchen sink
From there it went down the drain
And continued into the City sewage
I think this must be why
The language coming out of my mouth
Smells suspiciously
And I guess that is why
I feel so miserable
Just like a piece of forgotten news.

Lord help me
Where did my brain go?
Tell me, where did my brain go?

I don’t remember your name
Please don’t take it the wrong way
Talking heads is all I see

Nothing makes sense to me

Lord help me
Where did my brain go?
Tell me, where did my brain go?

I can see it in their eyes
When I sing my song
They hate what I have become
With my memory gone
But even if you don’t recognize me anymore
It’s still me
I’m still here
I’m not that far gone
You can still hold me
You can still touch me
My brain left me
Don’t you leave me too.

Lord help me
Where did my brain go?
Tell me, where did my brain go?

I’m placed with the lost and found
Aimlessly wandering around
Our frail bodies bear precious cargo
When our bodies fail
Where does the cargo go?

The Lord scoops me up at the end of the day
Even if I don’t remember
Thank God – He remembers me anyway.

When our brain functions deteriorate we may forget who we are. But does this mean we cease to exist? I believe the essence of us is not tied to our brains. The essence of who we are is tied to the Lord. He thinks of us like parents do, like a father and mother combined.

God is love and He never forgets who He is. His love does not change. He is who He is, and we are always on His mind. Should we not remember Him, we can rest assured that the Lord does not forget us – not today, not tomorrow and not in a million years.

“I’m the only daughter of her oldest son
I knew her well before her spirit was gone
And her life is a thread woven into every part of me
She is unraveling, she is unraveling”

Liz Longley