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Alzheimer’s: Grieving the Loss of My Mother

Phoebemd.com has published the second part of my article on my mother’s struggle with Alzheimer’s. You can access Part 1 via the link provided before the article starts.
These installments are based on my poetry podcast on this topic.
https://meelosmom.podbean.com/e/grief-fire-and-ice/
Please like, share, and follow. Others with loved ones who have Alzheimer’s may benefit from the information.

 

Phoebe, MD: Medicine + Poetry

By Barbara Leonhard

[This is the second segment of a 3-part series on Grief and Alzheimer’s. To read the first post, click here.]


As a way to examine grief and loss, I will share my story of the loss of my mother to Alzheimer’s, one of the most devastating forms of dementia.

What is Alzheimer’s?

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s Disease is a dementia caused by the building up of plaques—deposits of protein fragments that create spaces between neurons (nerve cells)—as well as tau tangles inside the cells of the brain itself.

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Podcast Water: The Sacral Way

Enjoy this exploration of the sacral way of water. Our steady and constant companion in various forms throughout the year, water reflects our creativity as well as our turmoil. Our emotional states are revealed in the many faces of water.

https://meelosmom.podbean.com/e/water-the-sacral-way/

I share my poems “Listen to the Prayers of Snow”, “Be as Water”, and “This a River”.

Enjoy a poem by Walter Bargen: “Why the World Stops”, which is from his volume of poetry The Body of Water: Poetry by Walter Bargen (2003). You can find used copies of this book on Amazon, Better World Books, and other used book sites.

I’m grateful to Sharon Singing Moon for her poem “Autumn Grace” in A Random Seed (2018). You can find her book at local bookstores, such as Skylark Bookshop and Yellow Dog Bookshop in Columbia, Missouri, at Dunaway Books in St. Louis, Missouri, and Prospero’s Books in Kansas City, Missouri.

My featured image, “Sacred Waters”, is one of my sister Martha Harris’ pieces. Her work can be found at Martha’s Artistic Flarings, artisticflarings.blog on WordPress.

You will hear “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost (http://poetryfoundation.org); “Very Early Spring” by Katherine Mansfield (http://famouspoetsandpoems.com); “Tempest”, by Emily Dickinson (http://yourdailypoem.com)

I found an interesting article on the symbolism of water in literature. https://eduzaurus.com/blog/water-symbolism-in-literature

For more information on chakras, see Anatomy of the Spirit (1996) and Sacred Contracts (2003) by Caroline Myss, PhD. Also, A Handbook of Chakra Healing: Spiritual Practice for Health, Harmony, and Healing (2004) by Kalashatra Govinda.

Wikipedia has a good summary of the Great Flood of 1993. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Flood_of_1993

Please like, follow, and share this podcast. Thank you for listening!

If you would like to contribute poetry to this podcast, you may submit it to me in a Word document attached in an email to me at meelosmom@gmail.com. On the subject line, indicate it is a submission to this podcast. I can fit it into a theme. In the email, include any pertinent information on yourself and publications you want me to promote, especially for the work submitted.

©Barbara Harris Leonhard, extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog, meelosmom.podbean.com

Image “Sacred Waters” ©Martha Harris, Martha’s Artistic Flarings, artisticflarings.blog

 

Healing · Phoebe, MD: Medicine + Poetry · Podcasts · Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul · Prose · Publication · Writing

Fire & Ice: The Faces of Grief

My poetry podcast on Grief: Fire and Ice, which shares my journey with Mom through Alzheimer’s will be published in segments on phoebemd.com. Here is the first installment. Check out her site. It is a source of poetry and articles on healing. We all need to bolster our immune systems, especially now with the stress and fear we feel in our daily lives and with COVID-19 spreading. Sites like Phoebe’s offer stories and poems of hope and recovery.

The original poetry podcast can be found at meelosmom.podbean.com (Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul). The episode is Grief: Fire and Ice.

©Barbara Leonhard, extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog

Phoebe, MD: Medicine + Poetry

By Barbara Leonhard


Robert Frost once wrote:

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Online, one can find many poets who sing about their grief. In this lyrical piece, Frost tells us that we face changes all the time. Eden, our paradise, has been lost. Life is temporary, terminal, and short lived. The sun both rises and falls; the seasons change, and we grieve.

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Podcast Measles Encephalitis: Hope Was Not a Loss

I have a new poetry podcast up on the topic of my case of measles encephalitis, which paralyzed me and almost killed when I was 6 going on 7. I went into a coma, had a near death experience, and recovered my ability to speak but not walk, I defied conventional medical wisdom of the time and taught myself how to walk again at the age of 7.

I include a poem I wrote about my choice to walk again. “Hope Was Not a Loss”, which was named Barista Favorite on Go Dog Go Cafe in February 2018. FREE VERSE REVOLUTION also published this poem in November last year.

I hope this podcast helps raise awareness about the importance of the measles vaccine. There was no measles vaccine in 1957, when I literally fell ill with encephalitis because my legs gave out from under me.

I also address the coronavirus COVID- 19, for which there is no vaccine yet. COVID-19 and measles are dangerous viruses, so we need to make choices that keep our children and other loved ones safe. Not just family, but neighbors and the community, the state, the country, the world. We are all connected. Viruses know no boundaries, as we can see from the spread of this coronavirus as well as from measles. 

The featured image shows me at 5 years  old, unaware that one year later, I would be fighting for my life.

Please take a listen. Then save a life.

https://meelosmom.podbean.com/e/measles-encephalitis-hope-was-not-a-loss/

Sources:

https://www.encephalitis.info/measles-infection-and-encephalitishttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Wakefield. Also, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3136032/

If you would like to contribute poetry to this podcast, you may submit it to me in a Word document attached in an email to me at meelosmom@gmail.com. On the subject line, indicate it is a submission to this podcast. I can fit it into a theme. In the email, include any pertinent information on yourself and publications you want me to promote, especially for the work submitted.
©Barbara Leonhard, extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog

©Poetry; The Memoir of the Soul, meelosmom.podbean.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio · Podcasts · Poetry · Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul · Prose · Publication · Writing

Poetry Podcasts on Kindness

My new two-part poetry podcast explores kindness and its antithesis, bullying, especially of children on the playground and online. My featured image is Izzy Dix, a beautiful 14-year-old UK girl who killed herself as a result of unrelenting bullying on social media. Before taking her life, she wrote a poem entitled, “I Give Up”, which I read. I also read poetry by Naomi Shihab Nye, Rilke, Emily Dickinson, and myself. You can access the podcasts at the link below.


Part I is 30 minutes and Part II is Around 20 minutes. In Part II, I rebroadcast a small part of Part I because of static and other noises which were too disruptive.

https://meelosmom.podbean.com/

The featured image of Izzy Dix can be found in this article. http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/34256113/izzy-dix-took-her-life-at-14—then-her-mother-was-trolled-online

It’s heart breaking to learn that the bullies and trolls seemed to rejoice in Dix’s death and continue their abuse and provocations by sending Izzy’s mother mocked up pictures of Her daughter’s body. What can we do to heal this cancer in our society? Love is the strongest chemo, so we have to increase the dosage. Empathy, compassion, forgiveness and loving kindness are powerful healers if we choose to hold those vibrations in daily life. A smile, a kind greeting, an expression of gratitude, a good deed, all of these actions are life affirming acts of grace and mercy. No one is perfect, but we can all try to be better. Those who embrace the bullied can teach the bullies how to be human. 

© Barbara Leonhard, extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog

 

 

Audio · Healing · My Mother · Podcasts · Poetry · Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul · Prose · Publication · Writing

Poetry Podcast on Grief: Fire and Ice

I have another episode up on my Podbean podcast, Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul.

This podcast episode is about grief and in particular, my grief over my mother’s struggle with Alzheimer’s. I describe grief and the havoc Alzheimer’s wreaks on its victims, especially Mom. In addition to my poems, I include a poem by Robert Frost and another by Walter Bargen, Missouri’s first Poet Laureate, appointed in 2008.

Thank you for listening! This podcast is around 40 minutes.

https://meelosmom.podbean.com

©Podcast, Barbara Leonhard, extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog

©Walter Bargen’s poem, “Migration” is from his book of poetry My Other Mother’s Red Mercedes (2018, Lamar University Literary Press)

Robert Frost reading “Nothing Gold Can Stay” https://www.modernamericanpoetry.org/video/robert-frost-reads-nothing-gold-can-stay

See also, Robert Frost, “Nothing Gold Can Stay”, Poetry Foundation

Image and Music: “Fire and Ice”, original tune ©Dierik Leonhard, Ironweed Bluegrass Band, found at ironweedbluegrass.com

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Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul- Podcast Episode 1, We are Entwined Spirits

I have a poetry podcast on Podbean called “Poetry: The Memoir of the Soul“. Let me know what you think!

The post is called ‘We Are Entwined Spirits’. When we feel isolated and lost, Poetry is our medicine.

http://meelosmom.podbean.com/

This podcast has a new poem in it.

Memoirs

Poems are memoirs

Of our human journey

Our life stories

And spiritual quests

In images woven by craft

The history of life in one poem

Comprised of many poems

Each of which is a cell in our ‘bio’

Our biography, graphs

Pictures of words

Poems are lines

Connecting the dots

Bridges to specks of self

From other selves

Poets are space holders

In a matrix

The Tree of Life

The Tree of All

If you would like to contribute poetry to this podcast, you may submit it to me in a Word document attached in an email to me at meelosmom@gmail.com. On the subject line, indicate it is a submission to this podcast. I can fit it into a theme. In the email, include any pertinent information on yourself and publications you want me to promote, especially for the work submitted.

Poems: ©Barbara Leonhard, extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog

Image: ©Martha Harris, marthaflares.blog