I Need You (But I’m Not Needy)

I Need You

Do not ask me to remember,
Don’t try to make me understand,
Let me rest and know you’re with me,
Kiss my cheek and hold my hand.

I’m confused beyond your concept,
I am sad and sick and lost.
All I know is that I need you
To be with me at all cost.

Do not lose your patience with me,
Do not scold or curse or cry.
I can’t help the way I’m acting,
Can’t be different though I try.

Just remember that I need you,
That the best of me is gone,
Please don’t fail to stand beside me,
Love me ’til my life is done.

– Author Unknown

Here’s one of those sentiments that makes sense if you don’t think about it.  This is a desparate poem about a desparate situation.  While written from the point of view of one living with Alzheimer’s Disease, it violates its own words.  It gives the person insight and logic which simply aren’t available.  It dangerously dehumanizes the individual with the words, “The best of me is gone”.  This is not true.  It’s all still there, but just can’t be accessed. 

Barbara is not ‘sad and sick and lost’.  Like all of us, she needs help.  I lend Barbara my brain and I lend her a hand.   The best of her is not gone.  I’m excited to see her every day, just as I have been for 30-plus years.  Neither of us can do some things we used to do.  That’s ok.  We’ll just do other things.  –lg