The familiar Stranger



Come visit me

there is still time

to make memories

that I will treasure

I come and go

like a guest

in my own  mind

I never stay

Soon I will fade away

will hide at a place

that I fear so much

don’t search for me

You won’t find me

it’s not my choice

not my desire

to be a Stranger.

My husband’s brother had been diagnosed with dementia a while back, and now his health and his memory are declining. It’s hard for me to find the right words to express my sadness.

It’s more than a disease, it’s an eraser that I fear.



17 thoughts on “The familiar Stranger

  1. Oh Bridget! How very sad. There was a time when I used to believe that our memories are the only thing that can’t be taken away from us. Sadly, I know now that’s not true.

    I’ve been trying to draft a post on memories for the Cherished Blogfest at the end of the month, and I find I am having difficulty with it. The emotions are strong, but the words are unwilling.

    I’m so very, very sorry for all of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My mother was diagnosed with dementia some years ago. When I see her weekly I try to steal back what she lost. That is why we talk about whatever she wants to talk about. And if the past comes up we talk about it. Never do I say, ” Remeber when?”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so sorry your family has been hit with this terrible monster. My mother-in-law as Alzheimer’s related dementia and has really been struggling the last year with her health as a result. She does not remember us, her husband most of the time. She was down to 80 lbs at one point, and her hair is now falling out. Our saving grace is that her memories are replaced with a child like sense of curiosity. Everything is new and beautiful. On hard days we answer call after call and tell her who she is, who we are not, and keep hot coffee from her grasp, knives stashed away. My father in law has had to stop working to care for her, and I have watched him change from a salty old man to loving, gentle giant. He misses his wife, but the change he’s made within are a blessing to them both.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Yes. It draws no line on what it destroys. And it can happen so fast. My mother in law is not violent physically yet, but I know it’s coming. She has had a few outburst of rage, scaring one of our kids. We try and calm her down but it’s so difficult to do when it’s so emotional.

        Liked by 1 person

          • I am so impressed with it, we all are. It is not at all what we thought. He is so much better off than he was at home. He is with people like him, there are trained nurses and caretakers. The activities are made for them. They craft a lot, there is music and lots of interaction.

            This facility is a blessing for many families.

            Liked by 1 person

          • That’s wonderful to hear. My Father in law is so overwhelmed. And I know he has the very best of intentions, but he’s struggling to keep her eating, clean. She has started falling too. She’s is 70 in a few months and I pray he sees the benefits of moving her to a facility by then. Not just for her but for him too.

            Liked by 1 person

          • My brother-in-law will turn 60 this year, his wife is my age. There was no way she could stay at home and care for him. She is tiny and he is a tall and big man. They endanger themselves -not knowingly – it’s a big responsible.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I agree. He is young. Too young. I didn’t realize until I researched-how it affects the brain AND the body. I hope your husband holds fast to the memories he shares with his brother. It’s an emotional roller coaster.

            Liked by 1 person

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