The House with Nobody in it
a poem by Joyce Kilmer
Whenever I walk to Suffern along the Erie track
I go by a poor old farmhouse with its shingles broken and black.
I suppose I’ve passed it a hundred times, but I always stop for a minute
And look at the house, the tragic house, the house with nobody in it.
I never have seen a haunted house, but I hear there are such things;
That they hold the talk of spirits, their mirth and sorrowings.
I know this house isn’t haunted, and I wish it were, I do;
For it wouldn’t be so lonely if it had a ghost or two.
This house on the road to Suffern needs a dozen panes of glass,
And somebody ought to weed the walk and take a scythe to the grass.
It needs new paint and shingles, and the vines should be trimmed and tied;
But what it needs the most of all is some people living inside.
If I had a lot of money and all my debts were paid
I’d put a gang of men to work with brush and saw and spade.
I’d buy that place and fix it up the way it used to be
And I’d find some people who wanted a home and give it to them free.
Now, a new house standing empty, with staring window and door,
Looks idle, perhaps, and foolish, like a hat on its block in the store.
But there’s nothing mournful about it; it cannot be sad and lone
For the lack of something within it that it has never known.
But a house that has done what a house should do,
a house that has sheltered life,
That has put its loving wooden arms around a man and his wife,
A house that has echoed a baby’s laugh and held up his stumbling feet,
Is the saddest sight, when it’s left alone, that ever your eyes could meet.
So whenever I go to Suffern along the Erie track
I never go by the empty house without stopping and looking back,
Yet it hurts me to look at the crumbling roof and the shutters fallen apart,
For I can’t help thinking the poor old house is a house with a broken heart.
Alyson Aldred Johnson on Facebook
May those who love us love us. And for those who don’t love us may God turn their hearts. And if he can’t turn their hearts, may he turn their ankles. So we will know them by their limping. – Irish prayer
Gotta love the Irish 🙂
No one wants my sick darling dad
by Fiona Phillips, Daily Mirror 12/11/2011
By Thursday I was spitting with anger and emotion at the lack of support for people in the later stages of the disease, following a harrowing week in which my 76-year-old dad, who has Alzheimer’s, was admitted to a psychiatric hospital and threatened with being sectioned under the Mental Health Act as no one could handle his symptoms.
On Monday a huge team from Hampshire police searched for him after he went missing for eight hours (thank you PC Tom Wrenn and team).
That night he was admitted, as an emergency, to a specialist Dementia Care Home, with the most amazing committed staff.
By Thursday morning I had an urgent phone call to say they couldn’t manage him because he had periods of aggression and they were at risk.
Wandering, aggression, elation, incontinence, the complete loss of understanding and the ability to speak are all dreadfully distressing, but common side-effects of thiscruel brain disease, yet when they occur even the professionals sometimes shy away.
If he had cancer, had suffered a stroke or a heart attack there’d be a whole pool of care and sympathy,but with Alzheimer’s there’s stilla gross lack of understanding, resulting in the sufferer, not the disease, being blamed for uncontrollable behaviour.
No one really wants dad now, apart from us, his family, who lack the space, the time and, to be truthful, the heart to have him with us, knowing that his disease will eventually drive us all insane, no matter how much we love him. It is a guilt that accompanies me wherever I go, having also had to resort to professional care for my mother who died of early-onset Alzheimer’s.
My dad, a middle manager who was made redundant in his 50s, began showing symptoms about eight years ago.
We were preoccupied with my mum so didn’t notice he was deteriorating. He was acting oddly but we thought it was a reaction to Mum’s illness.
I know from my postbag that there are thousands of families similarly affected. I know it must be a living hell for the sufferer. I know it’s costing the country £17billion a year – just in the last few days the police, social services and the NHS have been heavily involved in my dad’s case.
I know he would rather be dead than here as he is.
But I also know that the only reason a cure for this cruel disease hasn’t yetbeen found, despite the UK boasting some of the world’s top scientists, is down to a scandalous lack of research funding.
It HAS to change. For all our sakes. And in memory of those who already can’t remember who they are any more.