One day my world changed abruptly. In September, 2013, my daughter and I sat in a doctor’s office tightly holding hands, sweaty and nervous, waiting for the outcome of medical tests and final opinions. We hoped for better, but received a diagnosis of the most dreaded kind - early onset Alzheimer’s.
Dementia translates as ‘deprived of mind.’ Confirmation that I was to follow in my father’s footsteps jarred me in ways I never imagined.
The title, "Blue.River.Apple." stems from the three words I was asked to remember during my first memory test. The doctor gave me those three words, and then asked me to recall them at the end of our conversation. Those words were Blue, River, and Apple. I did not recall them all. The doctor later told me what they were.
Since hearing the news, I awake between 3 and 5a.m. O’dark thirty is when my eyes fly open and I’m full-on awake. The words that normally tumble off my tongue, now flow feverishly by pencil over a yellow-lined pad – as though I am possessed. And I write. Poetry.
In my poems, I recapture times over the last nine months when I am sure my life is over; and on better days when I know it is not. I explore my frustrations and share my views. I expose the gut-wrenching sick feeling that hits me when I’ve missed an appointment; or the many occasions I cannot remember a name or face of someone with whom I’ve spent time the previous day. Intermittently, I’m confused and at times I cannot figure out a word for the life of me. Then, sadly I stammer and falter with the elocution – often feeling it might have been better to keep quiet.
"Blue.River.Apple." is a snapshot of who I was on the day I wrote each poem. The emotional heart of these poems lie in an attempt to find my own traumatized self-regard as each day seems to bring on a new challenge. Spying on my future and relating day-to-day realities through poetry has been cathartic though sobering. I’m diligent to splash on a smile, square my shoulders, speak out and listen.
I dig deep for gratitude. Inside, I cringe and I cry.
Millions of Americans struggle in silence afraid to divulge their secret…I’m standing up to be counted…for them and for me.
So if I can help you, your spouse, life partner, your parents, siblings, friend, extended family member, caregiver – God Bless Our Caregivers – then this is a win-win. Together, we’ll walk through the fear of diagnosis and the hard cold dementia realities together.
It is my intent to donate a portion of the proceeds to the Alzheimer's Association, once this project has been launched.
Humbly, Nancy Nelson
Risks and challenges
My goal is to raise the necessary funds to publish, print and market my book. I realize not everything goes as planned. Therefore, I may have to extend the publishing and printing, based on the time-frame needed to complete both. I already have the editing process in place, and the printer is just waiting for the finished manuscript.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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