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The Memory Unit

Ann Anderson Evans ~

I arrive in the memory unit at 1:30 in the afternoon. Jean, my mother’s sister, is fast asleep in her hospital bed in Room 1410. For the past ten years, it has fallen to me to be her frequent visitor and care monitor. I do this willingly because without her generosity and compassion, my life would have been far less meaningful and enjoyable. She never married, but my brothers

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Standing Up by Speaking Up

My parents immigrated to the U.S. from Korea when I was two, in 1972. We were lucky we left when we did, or my father, a pro-democracy professor at Korea University during Park Chung-Hee’s regime, might have been jailed. We were also lucky my mother was a pharmacist, as the U.S. was accepting pharmacists and nurses then. We moved to Seattle and made our home there.
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Wake-Up Call

After my father died, I made sure I spoke with my mother every day. Dad’s death was sudden, if not entirely surprising, and there were a lot of logistical details to sort out. Mom, at 71, was living alone for the first time in her life. She wasn’t sleeping well. She was anxious. She didn’t understand all the paperwork that flooded into the house. I wasn’t surprised that she forgot things; she was overwhelmed with

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A Beacon of Hope

I never realized the importance of surrounding myself with people in need of hope until I experienced a difficult time in my life, a time when I needed to lean on others to find hope and solace.

During the fall semester of my sophomore year in college, I suffered the loss of my grandma to lung cancer. I became wracked with guilt, anxiety and depression following the death of this essential member of my

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Leaving a Little Sparkle Everywhere I Go

“You have glitter on your face,” my grandmother reminded me for the tenth time that afternoon. Though she was relatively early in the Alzheimer’s process, to us it seemed that she was losing something every single day, and today it appeared to be her short term memory.
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Descent….Variations on a Williams Theme

Martin Kohn

No cold plums
just the leftover
chocolate ganache
that we left in the fridge
and which I falsely accused
you of eating

Forgive me
as I lick
the sweet plate clean
and look for a magnet
to post this note

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First Language

Carl V. Tyler

In my clinic and in the nursing home
Every week I see it
That depthless hollow look behind the eyes
But this time it was your eyes
Sitting across the table
At a TGI Friday’s outside of DC.

And that all-too-familiar look to your face
Of knowing and not knowing
Of barely contained panic
Of quizzically furrowed brow
Of fear.

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House Beautiful

Liat Katz

Virginia is sweet. And I don’t mean that in a patronizing, “Isn’t she cute and sweet in her neediness and cluelessness” kind of way. You can tell that she has always been a warm and inviting person, and that she likes people. And today, I need sweet.

As an Adult Protective Services (APS) social worker, I’ve had quite a week among the belligerent abusers, the angry hoarders and the adult children

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Ronna L. Edelstein

For years, and especially as he entered his nineties, my father kept begging me not to “dump” him into a nursing home. He had seen too many of his cronies abandoned in this way by family members; his visits with these friends left him feeling depressed and hopeless for days. I assured Dad that I’d never put him in a facility.

It was an easy promise to make. I didn’t

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Fleeing Alzheimer’s

Sandra Miller

My left hand is an idiot.
I don’t think it can save me.

Deep in my brain, the old twine of brittle DNA,
the sparks of my memory and blasted circuits,
fizz and fray.
The spiral staircase twists, leading nowhere.

They say learn something new
so I rouse the dormant piano and try to
find the stretch,

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