'Memories' by Stephanie Redfern Jones

 Stephanie’s second contribution this week is her short poem - Memories. Memories deals with dementia and the effects it has on not only the person suffering from this illness that we know so little about, but the impact which the disease has upon the sufferer’s family members and friends. Stephanie highlights this by portraying dementia as manifesting itself in more ways than simply in the brain or body of the person suffering from dementia itself. Memories does not necessarily focus only the loss of memory or upsetting and frustrating forgetfulness that we all typically associate with dementia, but the memories that remain strong which, ironically, are often forgotten about.  Although dealing with a solemn subject and the sad stigma which attaches itself to dementia, it is the moments of ‘crystalline clear’ and ‘calm serenity’ which prevail in this poem.   MemoriesThough dust gathers on the photograph frame,I look at us and we stay the same,But in reality we both had changed,You lost your faculties, and forgot our names.Diagnosed with dementia, stigma and shame. And yet in certain moments you still were here,Your lucidity and responses were crystalline clear,And even though in dementia there is so much to fear,There was a calm serenity as love drew near. I look back on situation and I feel frustrated,Because I didn’t have enough patience, and I could have waited,And yet I did what I could do,I sat in your presence, in the moment, with you.  Stephanie Redfern Jones