A Granddaughter Writes a Poem About Her Grandmother with Dementia

Lacey (left), her grandmother June (middle), and her sister Quincy (right).  


You are bewildered, you are a child, you are sick, you are confused  But Still: You are the hands that held me tight when the coyotes screamed.

You are lonely, you are isolated, you are trapped, you are scared But Still: You are the familiar smell of sweet cherry and almond lotion when you wake me for hot chocolate in the morning.

You are hallucinating, you are upset, you only want to go home, you are losing your patience But Still: You are the voice that sings hymns through the summer breeze in the little brick house.

You are frustrated, you are blank, you are distant, you are starving But Still: You are the memory of home that makes me feel at peace.

You are desperate, you are frantic, you are unsure, you are wondering  But Still: You are 8 vanilla wafers with peanut butter for breakfast, lunch, and probably supper.

You are leaving, you are pacing, you are hopeless, you are caged But Still: You are napping on the couch with a coffee stain on your perfectly ironed, white blouse.

You are searching, you are convinced, you are waiting, you are shaking But Still: You are the robins in the yard and the yellow on the rose bush.

You are thirsty, you are sleepless, you are restless, you are slipping away But Still: You are the line dried flannel sheets and electric blanket. 

You are gone. But Still: You are the beat of every drum that fills my day, you are and will always be more than a memory, you are in my daughter’s eyes and in her name, you are June.

Author Byline:

Lacey Wyatt is 30 years old and lives in the heart of the Appalachian mountains. She found it a privileged to be the granddaughter of June Hollifield Pannell. June was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2005 and died in 2010. She was and will always be Lacey’s greatest supporter.

June’s favorite flower was a small rose bush outside her den, that her mom planted. The yellow blooms made June smile even in her darkest days when she often forgot where she was. When Lacey sees robins in her yard, she can still hear her grandmothers voice say, “there are the robins, spring is on its way my sweet Lacey Kate!”

June had the most unique eyes Lacey had ever seen. They were a dark (almost slate) green with one bright green and yellow dot. Lacey’s daughter has those eyes and every day she has the joy of knowing that. Forrest June is 3 years old and is named after her great grandmother. Forrest, because she never felt closer to her grandmother than being deep in the woods and forest picking blackberries and red raspberries and June because her grandmother will always live on.

June left a journal that documents her life during her battle with Alzheimer’s, that she wrote over a span of three years.  It clearly documents how her disease progressed. Lacey would love to share her writings with anyone who is interested.

Contact Lacey Wytt

Email: laceymo89@gmail.com

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