Logo Jerry Ham

During the past few weeks, I've observed some really drastic changes taking place in my mother's behavior. While we still have it easier than many of you on the list, these things are of concern to us. She has become increasingly paranoid, fearful and agitated. I took her to the beauty salon a week ago this past Saturday to get a haircut. While there, she became quite fearful, looking around and whispering, "Daddy? Daddy? Where are you?" Then she turned to me and said, "Daddy, please hold onto me." It about broke my heart to see this. One evening I caught her grabbing a handful of hair with both hands and pulling for all she was worth. I told her to stop pulling on her hair and her response was that she was trying to make herself stand up. For those of you who don't know me, I take care of my mother 24/7. We have had her here for over three years now, and there are days when I just want to run away from all of this. Last night I was reflecting back on all that has happened. I could help but also think of how my mom used to lead me where she wanted me to go. Now, after all these years, I have to lead her where I want her to go. I thought about a phrase that I first remember hearing as a child, "A child shall lead them." It is one from the Bible, and yes I know that I have taken it out of context here, but I set down and wrote this for the adult children here that are taking care of a parent.


I'm Still The Child

A child shall lead them I had heard it said.
The thought, Lead who? went through my head.
Childish thoughts that now seem strange,
Looking back, how things have changed.
My parents are strong, they'll always be there.
Dad looked so wise sitting in his chair.
To raise their children, the patience it took.
But they had had it, when they got that look.
We look back now, and laugh and cry.
Sometimes we'll give a wistful sigh.
The good old days? Not true, we know.
But they were there to help us grow.
Now I'm grown and it falls on me.
Am I really the child she hoped I'd be?
I get impatient and want to scream.
Some days seem like a horrible dream.
I help her stand, then guide her feet.
I cook her food, then help her eat.
A child shall lead them, and yes it's true.
I'm still the child, and so are you.

© 1999, Jerry Ham

e-mail: Jerry.Ham@werner-saumweber.de

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