Milenyo and Alzheimer's Disease
It's been two days after Milenyo, the worst storm that hit Manila since 1995. This is the first storm the directly hit Manila after eleven years. Honestly, it caught me by surprise. I have not been listening or reading the news lately and was surprised to be told that there would be no classes the following day while going home from work Wednesday. I never thought this would be different. I was used to signal no. 2 being declared a non-school day. Little did I know that we would be hard hit by the storm.
Anyway, I woke up early that Thursday knowing that my wife had to stay in the hospital with her sister who was going under the knife that day. I was left alone with the kids and my mother-in-law. For once, Pagasa did not miss this time. As it had predicted, the storm started raging at 12:00 noon. I would not have worried much but my mother-in-law who had suddenly been stricken with alzheimer's was very frightened. She's 82 years old. As some of you know, this is not my first time to have been acquainted with Alzheimers. My first experience with the disease was in Canada. My friend's husband, Terry, (God bless his soul) was my first encounter with someone afflicted with the disease. I never thought my mother was going that route already. She was showing signs of being very forgetful but we never suspected it to be the beginnings of Alzheimer's. She's been suffering from that disease for almost three years now. She's 87.
My mother-in-law's affliction is something else. She was okay, doing house chores when she got the flu, probably taking it from me. You see, I was bedridden during my birthday. She was doing the laundry then. Suddenly, she got sick and the following morning, my wife decided to take her to the hospital. Her mind plummetted since then. It was so abrupt.
Going back to the storm, when I saw how my mother-in-law was frightened by the gust of wind and the downpour, I couldn't help worry about my mother's condition, too. This made me think about her and her affliction. I made a tiny little poem for her and this is how it goes:
Is she really? (Working title)
This is where alzheimer finally takes me.
My mother - alone in her bed
with neither memory nor care.
She is nothing but a shell
fleshy mollusk meat gone
the soup down to the last gulp.
Like the debris found in the morning
of a full night's revelry
confetti strewn thick on the pavement
amid trash of firecracker paper.
A birdcage without the bird
or a flower without the scent.
This is what she finally seemed to be
With probing eyes and withered hands
she held my face!