Pages

Saturday, August 3, 2013

"A String Of Pearls" by Linda Austin, Guest Blogger

It's an honor to have author and blogging friend, Linda Austin as our guest blogger. Linda's writing has been notoriously influenced by her experience with her mother who struggled with Alzheimer's. Linda brings in her writing delicate and heartfelt reflections of her journey as a daughter and caregiver of a loved one with dementia. 

Please welcome Linda Austin, author of "Cherry Blossoms in Twilight" and "Poems that Come to Mind." 

------------------------------------

 "A String Of Pearls" by Linda Austin, Guest Blogger


The little Japanese woman sat quietly in her wheelchair, her gaze downward. As I approached, she looked up. Her dark eyes brightened and a small smile sweetened her face.

“Konnichi wa, Obaachan! Ogenki desu ka?” I said. Her smile grew as I spoke the few Japanese words I knew. They meant, “Hello, little grandmother, how are you?” 

This was my mother, but in the late stages of Alzheimer’s, she was like a small child in a frail grandmother body“Let’s go outside awhile. The moon is out already. We can look for the rabbit pounding rice cakes on the moon.” 

In Japan, the moon is the subject of many poems, and people enjoy sitting outside looking at its beauty. I wheeled my mother out the door of the nursing home and into the courtyard, maneuvering her chair next to a bench. The evening was warm and still. We sat together, holding hands, listening to the sounds of cars and of birds chirping their good night songs. 

I chatted a little about my day, careful to keep my sentences short and simple. My mother’s thoughts were easily lost in the tangles of dementia. She could only say a few words at a time before losing the rest of her sentence, the words like pearls suddenly falling from a broken string. I settled a blanket over Mom’s shoulders as even in summer she felt cold.

I pointed out the moon shining bright overhead and began to sing an old children’s lullaby. “Mikazuki sama, komban wa. Gitchira, gitchira koi te . . .” My mother joined in. I stopped singing and leaned in to listen. She sang the words over and over, smiling in the twilight, remembering all the pearls.

Crescent moon so high
I hear my mother singing
An old lullaby


Linda Austin wrote "Cherry Blossoms in Twilight" to capture

her mother’s memories of growing up in Japan around WWII.  Her latest book, "Poems That Come To Mind" is in honor of her mother and other dementia patients at the nursing home. 

She says that in the midst of the tragedy of Alzheimer’s and dementia, there are moments of great beauty and quiet joy that we must grab onto and treasure.



Visit Linda's website: http://moonbridgebooks.com


43 comments:

Paulletta said...

this was so beautiful...I will never forget it and I will never look at the moon the same way again....Thank you!

Carole Anne Carr said...

Yes, very beautiful indeed, I love Japanese poetry. Reminds me of the beautiful line from an ancient poem, 'Dragons weeping pearls of jade'.

Cloudia said...

Amen!

You are a beacon of such!



ALOHA from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral
~ > < } } ( ° > <3

Mariodacatsmom said...

What a beautiful and inspirational post. I can relate so well because my mother suffered from the same awful disease.

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Linda,
That was a very beautiful story. Weaving the present time back into childhood in a very meaningful way. Holding onto a smile on your Mother's face for a while longer...
Hugs,
Mariette

orchid Miyako said...

Dearest Linda,
My dear blog friend Mariette kindly taught me about this post of yours.
I'm a Japanese woman close to 60 years old. Right after starting to read your writing, tears were pouring down from my eyes. My father, who is 88 years old, is in kind of the same state of physical condition or worse now. We lost my mother many years ago and I'm his only immediate family. My father vaguely remember "furusato,故郷" and react for the song me singing and for you-tube a bit. Oh, I clearly remember I used to look up the full-moon with my mother and she told me about the rabbit in the moon making me feel filled with fantasy when little. Otukimi "お月見”is comimg soon, isn't it... He used to be a caring father and also like a 'superman' for me who doesn't have anything he cannot do p;) Unfortunately, his words like pearls were almost fallen from a broken string. However, I feel happy seeing the little smile he still shows me sometime. Thank you So much for this beautiful writing.

Lots of Love and hugs, xoxo Miyako*

Amrita said...

This is beautiful

Cynthia S. said...

Dear Linda,
Thank you, for this! I went through this with my father-in-law, my grandmother and now, my mother-in-law. It's difficult to see the memory leave so rapidly with Alzheimer's. My family struggles with trying to get my mother-in-law to remember things. But, I am happy to see her smile and be able to still remain in the independent section of her retirement center. Talking with her and making her laugh or taking her shopping is a treat, all by itself. Now, if I could get everyone else to stop battling her about her memory and just enjoy her presence.... Again, thank you, for this beautiful piece.

moonbridgebooks.com said...

Thank you all for your comments. My heart goes out to those with family or friends suffering from Alzheimer's and to those who have already been through the journey. A special hug to Miyako-san - keep singing and playing the old songs. Live in their world, and as Cynthia says, just enjoy their presence while you can!

kathleen pooler said...

Dear Linda, you have captured this precious moment for all time. It is beautiful as is your book of poems. In the midst of all the loss, there are moments of beauty to cherish as your story does so well.

Munir said...

Thank you for your post.
Also, welcome Linda!

Janet Givens said...

Thank you, Linda, for the important reminder that in the midst of what we see as chaos, there will be pearls.

janmorrill said...

Linda, once again you shared a private moment with your mother, and it helps me to see through different eyes as I care for my own mother who is disabled and my stepdad who has Alzheimer's. Thank you again for a beautiful and touching story.

moonbridgebooks.com said...

Thank you all. Janet, you're right that there are pearls in any kind of chaos or tragedy. We just have to look for them and treasure them. Jan, I hope you find many pearls on your caregiving journey.

nazimul hoque said...

Thank you very much for your great post. I'm so happy by visit this site that I’ve already bookmark this site and I will come back again .
social work

D.M. SOLIS said...

I love this. My adoptive grandmother was from Japan, via Hawaii, and was in the camps after Pearl Harbor. Whenever I go to Hawaii, I know how greatly she missed it. Her yard, nextdoor to mine, was like a botanic garden. And she taught me so much about blossoms and fruit trees. I miss her.

Gratefully,
Diane

Ebendy said...

Awesome!!!! Such a touching post..Good work done. Hope you pass by my page to read about addiction..

Ebendy said...

Awesome!!!! Such a touching post..Good work done. Hope you pass by my page to read about addiction..

vaishali said...

This reminded me of my situation when my mother suffered from depression,I was just a class 9th student and it happened suddenly.I was so afraid,I pretended to be strong but I was broken. I know you were in a much more difficult situation then mine but I can understand your feelings. By god's grace my mother is better now. But I can never overcome my fears

sparkle100-havealook.blogspot.com said...

Very touching read. My Mom died of Alzhimers and now one of my brothers has it. He is in middle stages.

I am the only one left in my family. I am 71 young.

So far nothing yet as my grown children or my doctor would of informed me like we were informed of our Mom and my Brother.

I know that friends one of the spouses has it but they live in denial.

La Petite Gallery said...

This was like reliving days with my Mother, Alzheimers is so very hard to watch.
Thanks for sharing this beautiful story and introducing me to the writer.
yvonne

Olaguelegra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
La Petite Gallery said...

just popped in to say Hello.

yvonne

A Lady's Life said...

This disease is terrible . I truly believe these people are just trapped inside and can't get out .
My Mom also suffered from Parkinsons and Alezheimers.She lived with us at home and it sure was a learning experience.

Laura said...

How tender and beautiful this is.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I miss your posts. I read this one last August and it stayed with me. I came back to see if you had written more and was disappointed to find that this was your last one.

reham magdy said...

شركة تنظيف بالرياض
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالرياض
تنظيف فلل بالرياض
شركة المنارة لكشف التسربات بالرياض
شركة تخزين أثاث بالرياض
شركة تخزين عفش بالرياض
كشف تسربات المياه
شركة تنظيف بالرياض
شركة كشف تسربات بالمدينة
اسعار نقل العفش بالرياض
هنا
هنا
هنا
هنا
هنا
هنا

Vie Ananta said...

Thanks for one's marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed
reading it, you are a great author.I will make sure to
bookmark your blog and will come back later in life.
I want to encourage that you continue your great work,
have a nice evening! obat penghilang tato

Steve E said...

Long time since I've visited Doris's blog, Linda...and she is featuring YOU! I did go to your pages also. And thank you for "Cherry Blossoms"...and "grandmother" story...Seems as if everyone is experiencing these pieces of life now...are we living longer?

When I was a kid (born 1933) when a guy reached age 65...he died, usually of pneumonia.

Keep up your good work.

dr.antony said...


Simply beautiful. Words come alive like colors on a canvas.
Love transcends all other feelings. Is there a better term for love, than mother ?

Carla Dillon said...

e-photovisual

stephanie winkleman said...

Thank you so much because while for many people this may seem like a very simple post, it is hugely important... and boundaries are something you can let slip over time... until you are so bogged down with responsibility that is not yours and overwhelemed by people thinking that you are there to do what they tell you to do... it gets to a point where you DO feel responsible for all of it.
social work jobs london

شركة الكمال said...

شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بالرياض
شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بالرياض
شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بالرياض
شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بالرياض شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بالرياض

ekhtsasy said...

شركة تسليك مجارى بالقطيف
شركة تسليك مجارى برأس تنورة
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالخرج
شركة تنظيف خزانات بالخرج
شركة رش مبيدات بالدمام
شركة تنظيف منازل بالخرج
شركة تنظيف شقق بالخرج
شركة تنظيف بالخرج
شركة تنظيف كنب بجدة
شركة نقل عفش بجدة
شركة نقل اثاث بجدة
شركة تنظيف بجدة
شركة نظافة بجدة
شركة تنظيف منازل بجدة
شركة تنظيف فلل بجدة
شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة
شركة تنظيف شقق بجدة
شركة تنظيف مجالس بجدة
شركة مكافحة حشرات بجدة

sherlina halim said...

Pengen yang lebih seru ...
Ayo kunjungi www.asianbet77.com
Buktikan sendiri ..

Real Play = Real Money

- Bonus Promo Red Card pertandingan manapun .
- Bonus Mixparlay .
- Bonus Tangkasnet setiap hari .
- New Produk Sabung Ayam ( minimal bet sangat ringan ) .
- Referal 5 + 1 % ( seumur hidup ) .
- Cash Back up to 10 % .
- Bonus Royalty Rewards setiap bulan .

untuk Informasi lebih jelasnya silahkan hubungi CS kami :
- YM : op1_asianbet77@yahoo.com
- EMAIL : asianbet77@yahoo.com
- WHATSAPP : +63 905 213 7234
- WECHAT : asianbet_77
- SMS CENTER : +63 905 209 8162
- PIN BB : 2B4BB06A / 28339A41

Salam Admin ,
http://asianbet77.com/

Admin Bandar said...

Bandar303 adalah perusahaan agent betting online yang sudah berjalan dari tahun 2008 dimulai dari Agent Darat yang dahulunya dengan menggunakan sistem SMS dan Telp.

Dengan Kemajuan yang pesat, Bandar303 Telah menjadi salah satu Agen Bola Yang Dipercaya di Indonesia. Karena Bandar303 sudah mengantongi Lisensi First Cayagan yang berasal dari Filipina.

Dengan dibekali sertifikasi First Cagayan, itu menandakan bahwa memang secara segi Pelayanan dan Servis yang kami berikan sudah memenuhi standart internasional.


YM : Bandar303op@yahoo.com
SMS Center & Whatsapp : +855 96537 8989
PIN BBM : 2B4B81F9
CALL CENTER 24 JAM : +855 96537 8989

Admin Bandar said...

Website : http://bandar303.com
Mobile : http://bandar303.com
YM : Bandar303op@yahoo.com
SMS Center & Whatsapp : +855 96537 8989
PIN BBM : 2B4B81F9
CALL CENTER 24 JAM : +855 96537 8989

Admin Fastbet said...

Numpang Lapak Ane Gan Agen <a href="http://fastbet77.com'>Sabung Ayam</a>

Admin Fastbet said...

Bosan dengan permainan togel di jalanan? Bosan dengan kemenangan atau hadiah kecil? Tidak pernah tahu apakah akan mendapatkan kemenangan anda atau tidak? Tidak pernahkah tahu jika kapanpun polisi bisa menangkap?

Fastbet77 adalah solusi bagi semua orang yang ingin bermain dengan aman dan mudah. Tanpa resiko apapun dan kemenangan yang jauh lebih besar.
Anda bahkan tidak harus meninggalkan rumah Anda. Anda hanya perlu menyiapkan sebuah komputer/laptop dan koneksi internet, anda sudah bisa menikmati permainan togel online di rumah atau dimanapun anda berada.

Fastbet77 sendiri adalah agen togel yang berafiliasi dengan sebuah website togel terbesar di asia yaitu klik4d.com. Sebagai sebuah website togel yang terbesar di asia, klik4d hadir dengan pasaran togel terbaik, komisi dan potongan terbesar, dan pembayaran tercepat.


Join us www.fastbet77.com :


-Yahoo Messenger (YM) :
fastbet77@yahoo.com
-PIN BB : 29AC7647
-LIVE CHAT
-wECHAT : fastBet77

Dijamin anda bakal puas bergabung dan bermain bersama Agen Togel

حسام داود said...

شركة تنظيف بالرياض
شركة تنظيف فلل بالرياض
شركة تنظيف شقق بالرياض
شركة تنظيف مجالس بالرياض
شركة تنظيف خزنات بالرياض
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالرياض
شركة تخزين اثاث بالرياض
شركة تسليك مجارى بالرياض
شركة رش مبيدات بالرياض
شركة نظافه بالرياض
شركة تنظيف منازل بالرياض

Ana Esraa said...

https://decor-ksa.com/
http://mchaabaty.com/stone/
http://mchaabaty.com/heritage/
http://mchaabaty.com/gypsum/
http://mchaabaty.com/fire/

قمة الدقة للتنظيف said...

شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالخبر
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالاحساء

roth phallyka said...

Thanks for sharing this beautiful story and introducing me to the writer.


แคมฟรอก