‘Free’ written by Diane F. Byrne



15 years ago—I met her
at Adult Day Care-a fine place
she touched into my heart so
she challenged me and I, enjoying a good challenge, accepted.
Through her challenge
she taught me about patience-dignity-respect.
She taught me about the beauty and grace of communicating through
touch, eyes that glimmer, children, song, pets, dance, prayer and guinea pigs.
She taught me about the importance of celebrating small victories, good days (and the short endings of bad ones)
(yes Anna, you taught me how to celebrate)

One Special Lady
who, despite her dementia held on to a sense of self so strong
I thought it would break me.
Who, despite her dementia was able to teach me important life lessons
I will carry with me
And you, Clare, taught me about what loving gracious caregiving is all about.
The mother / daughter relationship, the caregiver / receiver
exemplifying struggle, compassion, love. The cycle of life.
(I loved how you both pronounced the word ‘beautiful” in the same wonderful way)

When I think of her…
Peaceful, funny, wild and outrageous moments come to mind concurrently
When I think of her…the color of Easter eggs and Spring) Ahh how beautiful she looked in pastels!)(…the laughs we had…the games we played…the parties…will we ever know the true importance of the words: water? chicken?…a tear wiped away with a slice of bread…a Christmas Carol sung…did we ever find that earring? (Adult Day Care is indeed a special place)

So good bye dear Anna, pretty lady
we have grieved your losses for a long, long time.
I will grieve no longer
but Rejoice
that you are now free from the dreadful disease called Alzheimer’s
and Rejoice that your are now

Diane F. Byrne

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