Las Vegas resident Nancy Nelson met her diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer’s disease with a determination to document her challenges and changes through poetry. “Millions of Americans struggle in silence, afraid to divulge their secret … I’m standing up to be counted … for them and for me.” she wrote in the introduction to her poetry collection “Blue. River. Apple.”
Nelson worked 26 years in the airline industry and recently retired after a second career in insurance. Following in her father’s footsteps, she is no stranger to dementia. She said working on her book “has been cathartic, though sobering.”
For more on the author, visit blueriverapple.com.
TO MY FAMILY
I cherish your smiles,
Your impromptu hugs,
Kisses adorned with perks of support,
Explicit private minutiae of your day.
Our moments together showing your light,
Securing times, places, and you …
Every detail is captured and contained
By the molecules within me.
My drive and focus is to think
Better. Clearer. Longer.
Is to smile genuinely and grasp tightly
Onto the littlest of moments we share.
To retain pieces of air between us,
And the wisps of time around us.
Everything is important.
I don’t want to go, I say, I think, i mean.
But when the time comes,
What my words and eyes
Can no longer communicate,
My heart knows forever.
Let me soak in your special essence
That you may radiate through my aura
And feel that you are not alone.
Believe in your intuition to guide you,
The unscheduled dust flurry,
The soft breeze at an unusual time,
The light weight on your shoulder for only an instant,
My scent, the notion of me
Joins you as a silent companion
From time … to sublime time.
You are safe in me.
Until our time stops,
And I believe, beyond,
As long as molecules go on.
Your friend and on and on