Losing Yesterday

Scratchy the sand grains that grind the gearset in wasted time

Rendering rivulets where tears trace surfaces once sublime

Erasing the cranies from a stone rock made of crumbling lime

While you silently shift through the rubble of yesterday's prime

============================

A gold facade now eroded through rainfall's duplicitous crime

But a few small pearls in the pile at your feet worth but a dime

Blinking brilliant stars nod to sleep at the reason for a rhyme

As you silently shift through the rubble of a lost prime

=========================================

Picked through the precipitous pile pulverized in an arduous climb

Weathered the rich relics of a heart to remnants of choked chyme

Faded blue genes erase the fabric cloaking a vulnerable naked mime

While you silently shift through the rubble of a lost prime

===========================================

In the quiet caring moments the past now rests in corners grime

Old photos chronicle love a steadfast beat in the gold clock chime

And in my arms I'll keep you warm as the insular summer clime

Without a need to shift through the rubble of yesterday's lost prime

==================================================

Alzheimers, The Vampire

Comments 78 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

I'm not sure what else to say, Amy, except brilliant.

At my age, much thought is given to lost prime. In my mind I am still that twenty year old romping through life without a care, a Superman who was indestructible. To reconcile that image with today's reality is a tough one, and I'm in remarkable shape for my age. I can't imagine what it must be like for those not blessed with the genes I've been given.

Happily my mind is more productive than it ever was, and I have found such beauty and wonder in life now. It all balances out I guess, but then I'm one of the lucky ones.

Sorry for rambling. Your poetry leaves me reflective every single time.

Thank you for bringing beauty into this world through your words.

love from Oly

bill


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Gorgeous as always Amy...you have the mind of an artist with words.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear Bill, I feel the same way as you about my mind today as compared to the self-centered mindset I had in my youth. My mother was vibrant and an activist, of sorts, on a local level. She remembered every small detail, but now, I go in with her to her doctor visits, as she can't remember what was said by the time we get in the car to go home. Dementia, which descended when my dad died, makes her unsure, and afraid. I still see occasional reminders of who she was, but it is an indiscriminately, life altering, progressive disease with a downward spiral. Once in awhile I'll see someone celebrating their 100th birthday who remain 'sharp as a tack' and I am reminded how lucky they are.

Although, medical science has isolated the genetic markers and we are now able to find out if we carry the gene, I'd rather hope for the best than spend the rest of my days worrying about a course that cannot (yet) be changed. Thank you for telling me that my poetry leaves you reflective, my friend. I can't imagine words that could tell me anything more personally meaningful.

Love from St. Lou


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you so much, Real! I miss you lots. I hope you enjoyed the gorgeous weather in St. Louis today. It feels great to get in my car and not worry about snow or ice...finally. I am going to visit your space here, as I've not seen any notifications for you in quite a while. Thanks for your awesome comment, my friend. I appreciate your support.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Wow! You have it in spades, Amy.

Love this one.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Coming from a writer with your extreme talent, Will, I am speechless. Thank you so much!


epigramman profile image

epigramman 3 years ago

Let me , the legendary Epi-man, pause for a pregnant moment and pontificate on your now famous closing line and dissect into a brand new top ten list:

First, the immortal last line now famously known as a 'Bechererism'

"While you silently shift through the rubble of a lost prime."

10. Well first of all Miss Amy you are not 'silent'

9. for your words shout from the highest mountain.

8. And you are always 'shifting' .....

7. all of the great artists and writers 'shift' through time

6. endlessly searching and perfecting their art and craft.

5. Actually my mind is in a 'rubble' after reading this

4. and my train of thought is paralyzed from the unabashed amazement

3. of being an awestruck witness to the creation of

2. a new vanguard shining through with a language

1. of poetic perfection and to know that I have found you dear Amy

in your 'prime.'

And yes I would sit in Billy Buc's armchair (the one with the whoopee cushion) and agree with this gentleman in saying

"Thank you for bringing such beauty into our lives."

As you can see, lol, the epi-man is at a loss for words this morning and I know what it is Amy. I haven't had my first cup of java yet and I am turning into a werewolf about to bite your lovely neckkkkkkkkkk.

lake erie timeless for you (but if ya really want to know - it's 6:18am and the only thing that could possibly top your writing here is the daybreak over my lake and then the sunrise.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 3 years ago

'Losing yesterday' is a great title by the way .....but as long as you keep writing Amy you will always have everything to gain in all of your tomorrows ....


MrsBrownsParlour profile image

MrsBrownsParlour 3 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

I'm touched by your depiction of this part of human life. Not all of us are lucky enough to reach old age, and those that do face lonely challenges.

The pictures of rubble and weathered objects and the feeling of searching for something lost are very powerful.

I love your ending note. The changes that time brings do not matter in the arms of a loved one.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

I know it's the start of what's going to be a great day when it starts with an 'epigrammanism'. I took Mackie outside before dawn to come inside and find the thrill of a 'major' award bestowed by hubpages poet laureate, the beloved Colin Stewart. And, now, with my first cup of joe in hand, I see it's 6:18 a.m. Serendipitous to say the least!

I know how fortunate I am for so many reasons, so without further ado, as I thoughtfully shift through the rubble of the years, I find much to be grateful in my own Top 10.

10. Finding a bounty in friends here at the hub, who remain my inspiration, motivation and mentors for writing.

9. For my extended family that continues to support me through the ups and downs of life.

8. For everyone here, who has at some low point, has extended their hand in compassion and understanding and letting me know it's o.k. to be who I am.

7. For inordinate joy in reading their work; be it uplifting, sad truth, hopeful or the genius of comic relief...I am touched and grateful for your trust in sharing a part of you through your writing.

8. No matter what, you have accepted me, which is the greatest gift of all.

7. The steadfastness that often supercedes family in standing with me through thick and thin.

6. Leaving me comments that sometimes make me cry they touch me so, sometimes making me laugh out loud in complete surprise and an astounding feeling of connection; and, in your case, Epi, some of both in every comment.

5. The ability of my friends to leaving this 'wordsmith' speechless in awe.

4. For changing my life by making me feel I have value with something worth saying.

3. For making me rich in the ways that matter.

2. For letting me know I am not alone.

1. For making me happy that I am an integral part of my chosen family.

So, to all my friends, I say thank you for your eyes, your thoughts, and your endless generosity...from the bottom of my heart.

Colin, as always, you light up my place in cyberspace and enrich my life. You make me laugh, you make me cry and you like me...you really like me! My life, today, on a beautiful 'spring' day feels completely and utterly alive.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 3 years ago

Yikes, how am I gonna beat a top ten like that, lol, so there is only one thing to do after my coffee pot is empty - go back to bed and get up before 12noon.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear sweet Mrs. Brown, Thank you for the beauty of your compassion and understanding. I am struck by the ultimate irony in the blessings of a long life (mom is 85 years old now), finding and sharing a lifetime with a soulmate as my mom and dad did, and raising three healthy children, to lose many of those memories, feeling frightened and alone. We all realize that death is inevitable. However, most of us aren't prepared for it when it happens. My mom began a downward spiral when dad died suddenly 10 years ago. The OCD that had always been part of her took over, and dementia now has her often sleepless, worried and confused. It is an endless circle. I do my best to help her, but sometimes I feel helpless to make a real difference. She's lost direction, a sense of joy or purpose. Yet, there is so much to be grateful for as her stellar intellect is astounding and the 'good' days where she remembers minute details of things I'd forgotten keeps me listening to every word she says. I think the thing that scares me most is the progressive nature of dementia, the unpredictability of the next day, never knowing....yet, such is the nature of life for everyone. I am learning the importance of valuing each day and taking life one day at a time. And, really, that is all any of us have...the moment.

Thank you for your deeply thought provoking comment, Mrs. Brown.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

I'm laughing, Colin, but I think you've hit on a great idea. Mackie has already 'bedded' back down and I think I'll join her while watching the morning news.


Dancing Water profile image

Dancing Water 3 years ago

Firstly, I can't even come close to adequately expressing my astonishment and awe at the enormous gift you bring to the world with your exquisitely expressed words. Secondly, perhaps even more significant are your generosity and courage to open up your very soul to us, laying bare your deepest reflections. I imagine you in an intimate, beautiful space reading your words to a rapt audience who desire to drink in every meaning, every nuance of your amazing poetry, and of course, failing miserably because there is so much. Thus, we must return again and again, and like the greatest of art, we reap more rewards every time. My heart reaches out to you in your loving quest to help your mother at every step. Thank you, thank you, thank you, blessed Amy for being with us here. I daresay that we not only like you. We love you. Truly.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Your words always touch me beyond any expression of awe and gratitude I could leave for you, dear Reba. Through the gift of your words I know in my heart that you really understand me. I feel like you are a sister of mine, the best kind, a 'chosen' one. Thank you for your beautiful statement, Reba, and know that I love you, too.


MrsBrownsParlour profile image

MrsBrownsParlour 3 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

Amy, I can only imagine how difficult it must be to witness the changes in your mother. You keep the memories even if she cannot see them right now, and that is so bittersweet. I am also familiar with OCD and the exhaustion of caregiving so I hope you are able to cope with all that *you* are going through by being there for her. Your outlook sounds so wise and balanced, and I hope you can retain that in the really hard times. Focusing on the positive and being grateful for what we have is the best strategy for getting through anything----as long as we can remember that when we most need to! :-) I love that you are drawing upon this for your beautiful writing and (as Reba said) that you are sharing it so open-heartedly.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

I am grateful and appreciate your information related to your observations in the difficulty of dealing with OCD, Mrs. Brown. I thought it was just me, as is often the case in the isolating experiences of caring for a loved one. I believe, from what I see, that my mother's OCD is so overwhelming that she cannot maintain focus any longer. It is as if it is too difficult and, I feel, causes the deeping of what appears to be dementia. When dad died, mom became acutely aware of how much he took care of and she became discombobulated by the magnitude of more than she wanted to take on. Though I am not a psychologist, knowing my mom, it seems like she became unglued and in a refusal to take on more than she thought she could manage, disengaged. Otherwise, her OCD would have destroyed her. It has taken any joy she once had in life away. Though I become overwhelmed myself in dealing with the issues she no longer can, her OCD compels her to act, resulting in my need to double my efforts with many things I must undo. I become frustrated, but remain patient with my mom, as I know this is her only way of coping now with a landslide of changes she doesn't want. Thank you for your kind understanding, Mrs. Brown. You've helped me more than you can know.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 3 years ago

You amaze me. Your words paint apicture for me and always feel like I want to memorize them. Up, beautiful and awesome!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dearest Pop, YOU amaze me. You are one of the strongest dynamos I have ever met. Your writing, the topics and the brilliant bite of your humor is a testament to your enviable intellect and strength. Thank you so much for your support and exhilarating comment, my friend.


thost profile image

thost 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

Well done Amy, a very nice poem. I will vote this one up.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Bless you, thost. Thank you so much for your encouragement and support.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

So very beautiful Amy..Your depiction of losing one from dementia/ alzheimer disease is heartfelt. After my mother's CVA she was totally unaware of surroundings, also my sister Bea from a brain tumor. I can think of nothing more heartbreaking. Your poetry touches so many my gifted friend, but my thoughts remind me that you see and feel deeply, you will take whatever hand you are dealt and rise above any tribulations..Take care..Hugs******


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 3 years ago from Arlington, TX

Amy - You're one of those people I have experienced in a way and I want you to continue to deal with this as I know you will. Wonderful me dear...

The Frog Prince


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Oh, Ruby, I knew your mom experienced a CVA, but didn't remember that you lost a sister to a brain tumor. She must have been far too young. I am so sorry. Yes, Ruby, we never know what the future holds. We all must rise to the occasion in the best way we are capable. I feel extraordinarily fortunate to be healthy enough to help my mom. I will do everything possible to always act in my mom's best interests as, not only her daughter, but as a informed, concerned and involved advocate. I couldn't sleep at night doing any less than my absolute best for her. Thank you for your compassionate understanding and support, my dear, sweet friend.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear Jim, I know how much you miss your sweet, loving mother. I consider myself very fortunate to be able to help my mom. In fact, I am honored to be the one who does. This time we have together is very loving and I strive to be pro-active in her care without being intrusive. I respect my mother's independent nature, as it is very difficult for her to be in a position of asking for help. I understand that, as I am my mother's daughter. I tread carefully, and try to treat her with the same sensitivity I would appreciate.

Thank you for your support, Jim.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 3 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Voted up and awesome. So poignantly said but you know as long as one is loved and as difficult as it may be at times you and your mom do have each other and I know she knows that she is loved. Before my mom died she began asking about my younger and older sisters and I'm an only child. She even once asked me where I was born. And then she had kidney failure and she was gone. As hard as that was I was grateful to God that since things could only get worse she didn't have to go through it all anymore. My mom was too much of a free spirit who even in her 70s still enjoyed dancing so it would have been terrible for her to be how shall we say old she never thought she was and when she died she was 84. While she was still in her full faculties I thought for sure she would live at least to 100. Hugs to you and your mom. God bless and passing this on.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you for sharing the sad, yet ultimately loving experience of your mom's journey, dear Gypsy. My mom, too, loved dancing and adores music. She still can tell detailed stories from her childhood, but forgets conversations from 5 minutes ago. It's as if she exerts the control she still has by tuning out before she is exhausted by being overwhelmed. We all utilize mechanisms of self preservation. My mom is intellectually brilliant, as was my dad. Though I am still taken aback at the things she forgets, frequently with no inkling of recent conversations she was part of, the predictability of repetitious verbatim stories, stopping to look at the same trinkets in the grocery store every week with no intention of purchasing, the constant stopping in the way of other shoppers with no awareness that she is impeding others, though distressing to me, really doesn't amount to a hill of beans (as long as a harried shopper doesn't run into her with their cart!) I am vigilant about noticing changes as they occur in an effort to keep her safe. It's ironic, Gypsy, that mom still expresses a deep understanding and awareness of the logistics of what I do for her. She worries about the amount of driving I do, the stress I feel at leaving my rescue pup at the apt alone, my financial limitations and my own autoimmune disease. In many ways, we take care of each other. When my dad died suddenly from a massive bleed at his brainstem 10-years ago, his quick, merciful death was a blessing. He'd worked in the yard that day, as he loved to do, went to the grocery store and the bank, and enjoyed a beautiful day. As death is eventually inevitable, his passing was as peaceful as the way he lived his life. By most standards, my mom's life has been very blessed with good physical health and by the goodness of dad. He worked hard and left mom financially secure and made her feel safe in his love. Now, I am trying to be there for mom so that she feels a modicum of that same sense that she is not alone...that she is loved. I am aware, everyday, that many elderly die alone in nursing homes, or of terrible, painful diseases. I am eternally grateful that mom is still able to live in her own home and that I am able to help take care of her. I feel that we are very blessed.

Thank you, Gypsy, for your understanding and support. God bless you, my kind friend


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

Amy, how poignant and beautiful. When it is all over and done with in the end, as long as we know that we are loved, is what is most important.

You are beautiful. Voted up ++++ and sharing

Hugs and love, Faith Reaper


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Truer words were never spoken than your's here, dear Faith. And, that is exactly what I strive to give my mother, because, no matter what, I love her, always and forever.

Hugs and love to you, my dear friend.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 3 years ago from Taos, NM

Amy, this poem is particularly lovely and poignant. We all can identify with 'lost yesterdays' of this poem. I see you writing so poignantly about your mom. So much is lost with dementia, but on the other hand she doesn't even know what she has lost or is loosing. We, with our faculties still intact are the ones that realize she has lost those yesterdays. I have to also agree with Bill, at our ages now, we can understand because we too have experienced 'lost yesterdays'. Perhaps your mother is the lucky one because she doesn't realized she has. You have painted another beautiful canvas with your words. Lovely and thanks for sharing this with us.


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

Ah, amazing Amy, you are indeed the Mistress of Alliterative Allusions. Let me count the ways:

“Scratchy the sand grains that grind the gearset …” (ingenious invention)

“Rendering rivulets where tears trace surfaces once sublime” (exceptional emotion)

“ … few small pearls in the pile …” and “Blinking brilliant stars …” (perfect prose)

“Picked through the precipitous pile pulverized …” (imaginative iteration)

“Faded blue genes …” (picturesque perfection with double meaning)

“… silently shift through the rubble of a lost prime” (Brilliant!!!)

My heart goes out to you, m’luv, at this difficult time in your life. But you are stronger than you know. Your wondrous writing tells me so. This lovely piece is one of your very best. Trust me.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dearest Suzette, My mom is at the stage where the agony is in the fact that she does realize what she's lost. Her OCD, only diagnosed at around 80 years old simultaneously with her dementia, has always made her anxious, but now she has difficulty sleeping due to the endless loop of panic in her perceived loss of control. I am not only involved through caring for her, but have personally experienced this endless loop to the point where I expect a phone call from mom after we've refilled a prescription. Often the script requires a call by the pharmacy to the doctor, when we are told it will be ready the next time we go grocery shopping in under a week, yet, consistently my mom will call me in a panic wondering where it is. Her scripts are always taken care of before she runs out of the medications, but she calls the pharmacy in a panic so often now, they know her by recognizing her voice. So, I take a deep breath and tell her again, and again, and again. This is simply 'the way it is' now. Patience through love is the only way to go. Knowing my mother wouldn't chose this, and knowing I would never choose anyone else as my mother, I have enough love for her to get through this as long as I'm alive. My mom gave me the gift of life, and more, I am part of her. I will do anything to make her difficulties easier. I will be forever grateful that she isn't in any physical pain. We deal with the rest day by day. Thank you for your beautiful words, my friend, and allowing me to voice my feelings. Love to you, Suzette.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Though I don't know you personally, dear drbj, I do know that I would seek you out as a friend. I know that you may sense that this would be a rare occurence for me, as I am shy and reserved, rather hermit like by preference. I am not anti-social and in fact, strangers find me friendly, but as I have 'matured', I have become self protective and selective in the company I keep. But, you, I know I can trust.

Thank you for highlighting the phrases you like, as this teaches me so much, drbj. I am honored that you give me your time, consideration and encouragement....and beyond that, the sheer genius of your discerning eye that picks up every nuance, telling me that you understand as if you were inside my head as I wrote this piece.

I hope to find the re-emergence of your Interview with Charlie Chaplin today. I know I will not only learn something new, but I'll laugh and have fun in the process. Thank you, my friend.


Mr Archer profile image

Mr Archer 3 years ago from Missouri

You know, the older I get the more time my mind spends in the past. Remembering yesterdays, events, people, times. There are times I worry that I am becoming lost to those wanderings. I have known, and still do know those who are truly lost inside their mind, and I worry that I will arrive at that doorstep one day and not realize it. You brought it home to me here, Amy. Wonderful job, wonderful poetry.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

With growing older, and we are all everyday, Mr. Archer, I often recognize the bitter irony of God's sense of humor. As we lose the breathtaking beauty of youth, so to, fails our eyesight. As we lose the energy and exuberance of youth, we hear less acutely. As we become more frail with age, memories take us back to younger days when we thought nothing was impossible, when we felt invincible. For every season there is a purpose...Everyone has crosses to bear. We grow old if that is our destiny, we become less able to remain physically and mentally engaged. Not remembering, in some ways, seems kinder than the alternatives. Since my mom's bypass heart surgery two years ago, she is physically well, which is an enormous blessing. She was raking leaves yesterday in the beautiful sunlight of an unseasonably warm spring day. Things could be far worse. Everything is relative. In life, though, there is always compromise. I find something wonderful to revel in each and everyday and thank God at the end of each day that I am healthy enough to help my mom.

Thank you for your thought-provoking, awesome comment, Mr. Archer. Seize the day, my friend!


damian0000 profile image

damian0000 3 years ago from Belfast

Amy... this is a beautifully written poem, there is so much to admire about it.

Reading it a second time and going through the comments that you and others have made... the obvious devotion you have for your mother and father and the sacrifices that you make every day, it seems churlish to analyse it's merits... just to appreciate it.

Poignant, tender, insightful --- your honesty does you credit, you are a remarkably brave (as well as talented) woman.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you for your beautiful message, Damian. I found an error that I just corrected in the line about the blinking brilliant stars, whereby I changed 'nods' to 'nod.' Better late than never, yet I feel badly that so many wonderful writers read my piece with that error. Please forgive that, Damian.

I would say I am no braver than anyone, Damian, but I do have strength. I watched, admired and try to emulate my father's ability to quietly make things happen by doing the right thing in the best way...'just do it' could have been his mantra. He worked shiftwork at Anheuser-Busch in STL, yet managed to always be the one who was depended on for his reliability by friends and family. No matter how difficult the labor or how short his free time, I can honestly never remember a time he let anyone down. He was a man of few words, but he kept every single one. Growing up I watched him make a huge difference in the world around him with no intrusion, quietly but with great impact. He was my hero and is still the person I most look up to, literally and figuratively speaking. Thank you for inspiring these thoughts, Damian.


Ausseye 3 years ago

Hi Amy:

Just having a bit of fun with your pondering you prime idea

The moment, has time as we ponder our prime

As we came of the tree and lost our soul sky

And wondered the plain to hunt and retreat

Then plundered the earth to seek our prime goal

To master the world, the planet and then the great universe

Prime aims, prime goals and prime tolls

Our lives have evolved along the great road

Which direct now do we shift our prime load.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Yes, Ausseye, we each pursue different endeavors in our prime, different paths to different goals. It is certainly sad when, for better or worse, we can't remember. But, life changes for each of us as we age. That much is certain. And, like all of our journey, all the planning and our striving to realize our hopes and dreams, whether they happen or not, is one day at a time. Your words leave me still with much to ponder. Thank you for reading my work and letting me know you thought about it, Ausseye!


foemeno profile image

foemeno 3 years ago from New York

i dare not say anything but it your writing speaks


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

It makes me very happy to think my writing speaks to you, foemeno. Thank you very much for your time and awesome comment.


btrbell profile image

btrbell 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

Oh, Amy, so very beautiful, so incredibly sad. Crying for your pain and your mother's confusion. Your poem, as usual ,reaches to the core, words to ponder and savor. Thank you!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

It is sad, Randi, but it could be worse. I am grateful that at nearly 86 years old, my mom is still living in her home of 50+ years. Familiarity is comforting to her. Physically, her bypass valve replacement surgery helped her tremendously. In fact, last weekend she raked some leaves. When the weather gets nice, she always does something outside in her gorgeous surroundings. My mom is blessed in many ways. It's good to step back, recognize and be thankful for so many blessings. Sometimes, in the midst of trying to keep up, I become overwhelmed by the difficulties, but I never forget how many of the elderly are barely hanging on, some in nursing homes, some at home but having to struggle without adequate medical care, no family to help them and having to make the choice to eat or buy their medications. Those realizations put most struggles into perspective and I say a prayer of thanks. Thank you, my sweet, kind friend, for taking the time to read my piece and leaving me such a compassion message.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa

Dearest Amy, your poem has touch me in a very unique way. As always. For the first time in my life I have a desperate urge to catch up on everything I have lost. Aging do fill me with fear and anxiety. I am NOT ready for 'old-age' and I am not sure whether this is a good or a bad thing.

Lovely, very thought-provoking poem.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you so much, Martie. It seems to me that poor health, unrelenting stress and depression are what makes a person old, more than the chronological passage of time. For example, yesterday evening I stopped in Target for a few items and met a woman my age who treated me like I was her long lost friend. We talked longer than I really wanted to, but I enjoyed our conversation. In the course of exchanging info, she mentioned that I reminded her of Melanie Griffith when she was younger(pre plastic surgery). I've been told that by someone else. I left the store feeling young, though I rarely feel old! It's a mindset and a mindset that thinks young feels young. You ARE young, Martie, so don't waste time with fear or anxiety since that ages people faster than the years. Revel in the fact, Martie, that you are one of those women who will always be young and sexy.


Dancing Water profile image

Dancing Water 3 years ago

Hello sweet friend, Amy!

Please know that I am sending you lots of love and prayers, Reba


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Bless you, sweet Reba. I'm o.k., just swamped! LOL Love you, my friend.


Vickiw 3 years ago

Dear Amy, it seems such a long time since I last wrote to you! This poem is so heartfelt, and captures so well the downward, relentless spiral that is dementia. You are an amazing poet, and an equally amazing and lovely daughter. The people who are privileged to be around you each day are fortunate indeed, because your kindness, endurance and beauty shine through to everyone. Love and hugs, one for each time you feel down.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

You are so sweet and kind, Vicki. It has been some time since I've contributed anything new lately. I've just been swamped. I've taken up copywriting at AMS again to earn a little spare cash. It's very time-consuming and since it had been about a year since I'd written for them, I had to refresh my skills and familiarity with their formatting. With all the relentless rain lately, copywriting has kept me occupied. My sister is visiting from HI and staying with mom, and with the rain and cold temps, I've only visited once. The coming week is forecasted to be better so I'll visit more then.

As always, Vicki, I am delighted to hear from you. Thank you for the kindness of your generous words. Love to you from me stuck in St. Lou!


Docmo profile image

Docmo 3 years ago from UK

,And in my arms I'll keep you warm as the insular summer clime

Without a need to shift through the rubble of yesterday's lost prime'

Wow, Amy. You can really crawl through ours heart space and retire our emotional circuits with your powerful poetic rendering of the merciless passage of time. You're beautiful, inside, out and all over - just like your words!


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Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Your words make me so glad to be alive, Docmo. I know that you understand how invaluable it is to be valued and how brutally lonely it is to misunderstood. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being you. It is sad to see my mom change, but life is ever-changing and somehow, there is a renewed child-like openness in my mother that is incredibly beautiful. As a side note, and not simply due to what might be construed as an inability to be objective, but my mother has always been a strikingly beautiful woman and today, more so than ever, I am struck by how beautiful she remains at 85 years old. Though she has lost the sharpness of her memory, her softened demeanor renders her even more angelic. Thank you, Mohan, for allowing me to be real, even cry and most of all, feel appreciated.


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MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa

Hi Amy, I wanted to tell you this 3 weeks ago, but for some reason I let it go: I googled pictures of Melanie Griffith and was not in particularly shocked by her bad appearance at the age of 48 – which may not even be genuine - but by the reaction of people on her ‘bad’ appearance. Yes, it is our responsibility to take care of ourselves, to stay beautiful – because we humans love beauty and dislike any form of ugliness. Arousing aversion or disgust is certainly the last thing we should do. But aging is NOT beautiful (per se), and I find people marvelling at ugliness – finding some kind of sensational pleasure in whatever’s ugly (in their eyes) - so disgusting. Thank you so much for your lovely reply on my comment. I can see you now better in the image of the beautiful Melanie Griffith.


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Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

I love the complex way your brain works, Martie. I can see from your comments and grasp of 'the heart of the matter' that your mind is always full speed ahead, validating my thoughts that you are the antithesis of 'old'. I get angry when I hear so many women promoting self-reliance and a positive attitude for all women, yet seem to lead the pack in denigrading the physical appearance of women as they age or even in youth if they don't measure up to Vogue standards. I felt very self-conscious in the company of female workmates and peers when I invariably heard unkind comments regarding other women's appearances. It left me scarred, even though the remarks weren't aimed at me. I am by nature reserved and somewhat shy (less so now than in my youth, but still affected by my way of thinking). My appearance was foremost in my mind when I was young, because, from even the most casual observations, it was focused on by so many as the 'be all, end all.' Without it, many women were cast invisible or worse, the object of jokes. It seems human nature derives satisfaction from favorable comparisons at the cruel expense of others. I would have to say that what I have seen in this area accounts for my inability to enjoy socializing or trust many people. In fact, dear Martie, most of the men I have met since my divorce are either deviants that have served jail time for serious sexual crimes or freaks that should. And, no one will convince me that the obsession with the way we look doesn't factor into attraction, sex and a fostering a false, yet nevertheless male idea about what women want. I don't miss the anxiety of my youth. Growing older has given me some peace in acceptance that those that live long enough eventually change physically. It still disturbs me, however, that I do FEEL better when, occasionally, I am asked for my ID. It means I am, to some degree, influenced by the very thing I abhor about society's idolization of youth and the invisibility of the elderly. It makes me sad. Thank you for your interesting, provocative comment, Martie. You always make me think.


btrbell profile image

btrbell 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

Amy...it has been so long....I am worried about you and hope all is well..


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

You are so sweet, Randi. I'm fine, just kind of burned out temporarily. I've been busy with my mom, and my sister was visiting for a few weeks from Hawaii plus I've been writing online copyright for a London brokerage called AMS. Its time-consuming, but I earn a little extra cash in my spare time. Thank you so much for letting me know that you noticed I've been MIA lately. You've made my day, my friend. Take good care of yourself, Randi. I'll be back at the hub one of these days!


BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 3 years ago from New York

Most of the time it is good to 'lose yesterday' Great poem.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

I felt that way when I was young, Bobbi, unless we live to an age when yesterday is most of what we have left....For my mom, at 85, her dementia is frustrating, confusing, scary and sad.

There are definitely some life experiences I would rather not have had to endure, but even those, maybe especially those, made me wake up and smell the coffee. Thank you, Bobbi, for making me think! And, I haven't forgotten...I'm still working on your painting, but my mom needs more of my help as time goes on. One day I'll finish it and just surprise you and Steve. Friends, who have seen what I have done, love it. I especially hope that you and Steve will.


BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 3 years ago from New York

Amy: Hi. I never meant dementia is a good way to lose yesterday. I was thinking more of laying our own burdens down. Dementia is a horrible thief, robbing so many of good memories. Take your time on the painting, I fully understand. Bless you for caring for your mom in her time of need. I wish you the very best. *hugs*


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

I understood what you meant, Bobbi, and there have been many times where I felt like 'forgetting' the trying times. I miss you, Bobbi, and thank you for your kind, understanding message. Hugs to you, too, my friend. Please tell Steve 'Hello' for me.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

Your mother is fortunate to have you caring and looking after her. Dementia is a horrendous thief that seems to slip in unnoticed until much damage has already occurred. Bless you and bless your mother.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you for your kindness, Peggy. I appreciate you giving my work your time and understanding. Bless you, too.


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 3 years ago from Great Britain

That poem was truly awesome. Wonderful use of words.

I wish you all the best and especially love in your new life.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Awww, Dim, thank you so much for your kindness. I'm finally learning to accept myself and, in doing so, learning to forgive myself and those that have hurt me. It is the only path to love. Bless you for your beautiful thoughts and wishes.


Vickiw 3 years ago

Just popped by Amy to tell you, you are always in my thoughts, and I admire you so much with the daily difficulties and challenges you face. Tonight there is a full moon, and I will see it over the ocean, just like last night. Incredible, and it always makes me remember you.


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Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

I'm so happy to hear from you, Vicki, and especially in regards to the Supermoon! Luckily, when I was walking my pup last night, I saw it despite the rain clouds. Tonight, even that beautiful, huge full moon is obscured by the clouds...maybe I will see it in the wee, early morning hours...

You made my day, Vicki. Thank you so much for letting me know you think of me, my friend, as I do you.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 3 years ago from California

Beautiful write Amy--my husband I and I were just talking about this---we are getting older and our parents are too--loving into your old age--and all that entails---


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

I see it all the time now, Audrey, in helping my mom. Though I know things could be far worse, it is very difficult to watch, knowing it won't get better, and the best I can do is all I can do...and nothing can bring a loved one back from dementia. It is very sad, mostly for the victim, but also for everyone that loves the person. It makes me realize that most people spend far too much of their lifetime worrying about things they can't change and minutia instead of enjoying each simple moment of being alive. When I think of all the times I was told as a youngster, that planning for the future was vitally important, and now I hear all the sad tales of the elderly who have lost everything they worked all their lives to attain, it makes me wonder... There are no guarantees and the best laid plans can be shattered in a moment. Still, life is a miraculous gift and I try to enjoy it one day at a time. Thank you for sharing your thought-provoking comment, Audrey.


annart profile image

annart 3 years ago from SW England

What a beautiful, poignant poem, Amy. It leaves us all thinking about what we were and what we might become. It is indeed difficult to watch a loved one changing into a different person, be it through Altzheimer's or Parkinsons or the like. I always think it's so important to think of them as they truly were and treat them as thinking adults - so many people either don't talk to them or treat them badly. Your work is always thought-provoking; your phraseology is superb. Up & beautiful. Ann


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Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you so much, Ann. My last day in my apartment will be Sept 30, as I am moving in to my mother's home on Oct 1, to enable her to remain at home for now. She has dementia, predominantly, total short-term memory loss. In addition, mom has been diagnosed with OCD, making for a very difficult road to hoe, both for mom and those around her. Her memories of the 'good old days' are fully intact, down to the last detail, but a conversation 2 minutes ago is gone. However, mom is definitely still there. Even so, communicating is extremely difficult and frustrating. My mother does best on automatic pilot. Any change, even for the better, are met with great resistance, confusion, disorientation and further decline. At some point, she will require more care than I, alone, will be unable to provide. My brother, who lives in Davis, CA and my sister in Hawaii are staying in close contact via email and are only a phone call away, which gives me comfort. If and when mom needs 24/7 care, they will be involved in making important decisions that I, gratefully, will not have to make alone. It's a fact of life for many families, but still, it is scary, fraught with the unknown, and difficult.

Thank you, Ann, for your beautiful and kind words. You couldn't have arrived at a better time.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 3 years ago from California

Hoping you are well Amy!


annart profile image

annart 3 years ago from SW England

Well, Amy, what a lovely person you are to move in and care for your Mum. I know how difficult it can be and I know what you mean about the routines etc. It's really difficult but I'm sure your Mum will appreciate deep down that someone familiar is there for her. By now you will have moved in with her. Keep your spirits up and remember that your friends at hubpages are supporting you in their thoughts. It's such a comfort for you to know that you don't have to make decisions alone. My children helped me and I was thankful I didn't have to put my mother in a home; she died within 3 days of being diagnosed with a cancer, in hospital, very comfortable and hardly ever without one of the family by her. I wish you all the strength you need at this difficult time. Humour helps a lot and I've been told that joining in with the fantasies of being in a different place or time actually helps them because not being corrected alleviates the stress (theirs if not yours!). All the best to you. Ann


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Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dearest Audrey and Ann, Unfortunately, all is not well. After turning my life upside down and moving in with my mother, I found she did not appreciate having me and my dog in her home. I lasted two weeks, as she did not want any changes in her home...mainly me. My mother takes great pride in frugality, which has it's virtues, but showering once a week and not flushing TP is too austere for me. Mainly, however, I found it too difficult to feel the need to apologize for existing. And, far be it from me to stay where I am clearly not wanted. My mother's financial status makes her options as she desires. Since I am certain she will be fine, I must save myself.

After an emotionally exorbitant ordeal and financially stressful few weeks, which included two moves in the same number of weeks, I have landed in another lovely, but cheaper 4-family flat in St. Louis city. My rescue Scottie is as traumatized as I, but we will re-acclimate for the better. My trepidation entering this endeavor validates and serves to reinforce my confidence in the reality of my gut. This has been a lesson in trusting rather than second guessing what I know.

Thank you for thinking of me and leaving me your caring, kind words. You both have touched me deeply.


annart profile image

annart 3 years ago from SW England

Sorry to hear it didn't work out despite your best intentions. It's good that you've 'saved yourself'. That's necessary for your own well-being and sanity. I wish you and your Scottie well in your new home. You seem to have a 'learn and progress' philosophy on life and you're right to trust that 'gut' feeling. I admire your stoicism and optimism. All the best. Ann


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Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

When I was growing up, Ann, despite the fact I grew up anxious and insecure from being constantly reminded by my mother that I was a disappointment, my sole goal became 'pleasing' everyone. I lost sight of what I wanted. I spent all of my youthful energy as a chameleon, blinded by the impossible notion that 'everyone' like me. I am, by nature, 'stoic' and 'optimistic', but it was my stubborn, hardheadedness that kept me stuck in that 'going nowhere' limbo of a wasteland. I was in denial...yet I was angry, yet I still smiled. I liken it to my feelings about Golden Retrievers vs Scottish Terriers. I love all dogs, Ann, but it's Scotties that I adore for their no bullshit 'aren't I wonderful' confidence. My Scotties were/are stoic, strong willed yet loyal and loving. My Golden was a pleaser. He loved everyone. I always worried he'd take off with the first stranger with a hotdog!

I know my story is nothing new. Some of it is generational, yet the reality has been a lifelong struggle for me. Your incredibly astute comment, Ann, fired my neurons and inspired 'spilling my guts', so to speak. I trust my heart less and my guts more these days. Once again, I am reminded, wisdom should have guided me and I would have had less angst and fewer regrets. Thanks for listening, Ann.


annart profile image

annart 3 years ago from SW England

You're very welcome and I know what you mean, Amy. I tried to please everyone for some time (nothing to do with my wonderful parents), then realised somewhat later that I should respect myself more and it seems to have worked, most of the time anyway! I hope you succeed with your hopes and dreams. Ann


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Bless your kind heart, Ann.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 6 months ago from California

Hi Amy! Hope you are doing well!


becherer.amy@gmail.com 6 months ago

Hi Audrey,

Me thinks you are psychic! I just got home from the oncologist's office for a pathology report on a procedure he did 2-weeks ago. I'll email you privately soon. Thanks for thinking of me, my friend. How are you? I hope well. I'm not participating at Facebook any longer since someone has apparently hacked my page. No matter how many times I change my password, I can no longer access my Facebook page.

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