In the later stages of Dementia my wife had, at times, trouble standing. She used a perching stool at the wash basin and I made a small mirror that hangs so she could see herself. At first I was puzzled why she was less than pleased with it.
“Mirror mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?”
“It can’t be you” the mirror said,
“A sad old woman with a muddled head.
I can reflect BUT you can’t say
A cogent word as the decay
Dementia’s wrought has stripped you bare,
You’ve now become your own nightmare!”
I too am looking in the glass,
Can see the awful thoughts that pass
Behind your eyes in your reflection,
So turn my eyes in your direction.
“Don’t trust a word the mirror speaks.
Let’s dry those tears on your cheeks.
You’re still the one I’ve always known,
I know my lover hasn’t flown.
You know you’re still quite safe with me
Have likes, dislikes, you laugh with glee
When I tell jokes or bang my head.
You worry, love, get sad, see red.
So what if times you lose your way?
We make the most of every day.”
“My precious bud. My perfect wife.
The author of my fulsome life.
Ignore the mirror, reflect you not,
It’s all just lies you still have got
The charm and beauty I saw first.
You’re still the one, who with love nursed
The life back in this gawky swain.
And if you ask”, “Would you again
Climb that sometime steep life hill?”
“The answer’s yet again I WILL”.