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Posts Tagged ‘Wordsworth Dances the Waltz’

  Mr. Kevin Kawamoto wrote a very generous review of WORDSWORTH DANCES THE WALTZ, in their special Alzheimer’s issue in the Hawaii Herald. Thank you, Mr. Kawamoto & Hawaii Herald! (Psst, Hawaii readers:  if you want a coupon code for 40% off when you buy books from Watermark Publishing, do get a copy of the Herald!) I’ll   be in Hawaii in March to speak at  various events. I’ll sign your books then.
Look, I am in the Hawaii Herald newspaper! Mr. Kevin Kawamoto wrote a very nice article about my book, WORDSWORTH DANCES THE WALTZ, in their special Alzheimer's issue. Thank you, Mr. Kawamoto & Hawaii Herald! (Psst: if you want a coupon code for 40% off when you buy books from @[71673657848:274:Watermark Publishing], go get a copy of the Herald!)
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My mother said to a minister a month before she died, “Don’t let me be forgotten.” She’ll be pleased

to know she is helping me make a difference among loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease. Our gratitude to

journalist Karleen Chinen and the Hawaii Herald.

 

Hawaii Herald

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photo

Wordsworth the Poet and I will be so delighted to see you in Elk Grove.

Saturday, September 21.

We’ll be signing books at the Jan Ken Po Gakko Arts & Crafts Fair

from 9:30 – noon.  The fair is from 9 – 3:30.

Site:

Sacramento Asian Sports Foundation Facility

9040 High Tech Court

Elk Grove CA  95758

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WW with notepad

The Suzume No Gakko Summer School in San Jose

invited me to speak to their students in grades 1 – 6,  on being an author. It was to captive audiences that I   shared stories on how my Wordsworth books were written. But when Wordsworth made a surprise visit, the stage became all his.

Wordsworth was pretty excited and it looks like he shaved off his whiskers that morning. One alert first grader brought it to his attention.

WW's tail

Wordsworth promised to dance the waltz with everyone at his next visit.

 

Ww with kids

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Hello Everyone, My books are now available as e-Books. Check out the site below, posted by Watermark Publishing.

http://bookshawaii.net/frances-kakugawa

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The Forever Hurrah…….

As November, Alzheimer’s Awareness Month comes to a close, for caregivers and their loved ones, awareness  does not end,  not even after death.

Caregiving is like a river, but not  a free-flowing river, for there are obstructions from the bank, attorneys, the medical world, siblings, family, and the disease itself, among many unexpected “others”.  So we humanize care giving the best we can by  not adding our own obstacles.  And sometimes, we stand up tall, both caregiver and the one being cared for and we let our voices be heard.

 

                                The Steward’s Reply

 

The day approaches when beings

from beyond the stars come to ask,
“why should the likes of you,
defective and dangerous as you are,
be permitted to spread beyond
the light of your dying sun
and onto the wonder of the heavens?”

In reply, a single caregiver
stepped out from the cloud of humanity
as if to say, “We are the Stewards of Mortality.
In all the limitless expanse of your travel,
the countless species of your wondrous universe,
have you ever met the likes of us?”

 

                by Red Slider

               page 108: Breaking the Silence

*****************************************************

                        Hey Alzheimer’s

 

Hey Alzheimer’s,

Sitting there so smug, gloating

Over the memories

You have stolen, the years we have lost.

Do I have a story to tell you.

 

You see, Alzheimer’s,

What you think you took, we kept.

Every memory we secreted away

In our children, our friends,

Our loved ones.

 

You could not rob us, though we forgot.

You could not erase us, though we could not write.

You could not silence, though we could not speak.

The stories, the laughter, the moments that passed

Into their keep, you could not steal

Into a night of silence.

 

Look at me, Alzheimer’s.

My life is restored, remembered, reconstructed,

With tools of love, dignity and laughter.

A house of memories is built

By my children, and their children

For generations to come.

 

So here I am, Alzheimer’s,

With family, friends, and loved ones.

What you thought you stole

Is still here. We are all still here.

So Alzheimer’s,

What do you think of that?

 

                        by Frances Kakugawa

                        Page 167:Breaking the Silence

 

 

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Alzheimer’s Awareness Month:November

Once a month, a group of caregivers and I meet at the Sacramento Alz office as poet/caregivers.

We sit around a wooden rectangular table  to share our intimate lives through our pens. Often, we share the seasons from our garden: figs, strawberries, blueberries, plums,  apples,peaches, zucchini, zucchini, zucchini during the Summer and Autumn months.

Sometimes there is complete silence in the room, as though there is nobody there, sometimes belly laughs so loud, I close the door to keep our laughter in. There are poems that bring the Kleenix out, poems that receive nods, “yes, I know what you’re saying.” We become poets, admiring images, metaphors and the beauty of language. But most of all, we are caregivers, using poetry to pause, reflect and to make sense of our lives as caregivers,  and to discover the abundant gifts of humanity hidden beneath the everyday-ness of caregiving. We also create new words if need be. And we learn from each other, how to be the most compassionate and knowledgeable care givers, without being afraid of truth. And there is complete trust as we open the doors to find meaning in this relationship between caregiver and the ones being  cared for. We are no longer suffering caregivers but poet/caregivers, creating art from among the “ruins.”

Mary Swisher, caregiver for her husband shares two of her poems:

 

A Daughter’s Lament

(the labor of becoming our own mother)

 

It’s as if the overcast day has

Blown this unknown Niobe of tears

Into our midst.

 

Silently she rains down her

Salty drops until it puddles at her youthful feet.

 

The first daughter tells her sorrow … “I left my mother

In “that” home, my sister hates me, it breaks my heart.”

 

Our Niobe gives an audible sob and we can feel her

Tears lap at our ankles.

 

The second daughter speaks “My husband can no longer drive

He could get lost … and he knows it.”

 

More tears, enough to put a monsoon to shame, and yet …

 

Another daughter has gone to work, left her mother-child

At day-care.

 

The deluge continue, tissues mound into a white mountain now

We are sitting in a sacred lake

 

Another daughter: “my brilliant husband can’t walk…on the floor

I can’t … too heavy and my mom needs more and there’s no money…”

She reads a poem, crying, out of breath.

 

By now we have become a Greek chorus

Buoyed on salty swells of tears

 

Our new daughter speaks

Amid gasping sobs, she cries, a desperate howl

For the mother she has lost, but still holds,

And will not let go.

 

     ©Mary Swisher Feb. 201

These are the days

I write bitter poems

These are the days

I scream

don’t cry, just

scream

hate the person I have become

wonder who I ever was

ever compassionate, understanding

full of joyous kisses

pranks and laughing fits

over some shared escapade

the person who wrote

love notes to tuck under his pillow

or his lunch sack.

Now I write angry words

That I hide, even from myself

I have become a liar, a plotter

mapping his days and mine to avoid

conflict…I agree when I don’t really,

I say “never mind” or “it’s not important.”

Explaining is like

my speaking Greek to a Greek,

I know so little Greek.

Everything becomes confusing

to the point where

I scream

NEVER MIND … FORGET IT!

and he says

FORGET WHAT?

      ©Mary Swisher

      October 2012

voices of other caregivers will be posted throughout November.

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