A Once Brilliant Mind

My neighbor told me this when at
the mailbox we happened to meet.
“Say, you must recall Mrs. Jones, that
teacher who having for math was a treat.

You know, that lady who taught all of the
neighborhood kids high school math. She
was as much loved, respected as could be.
She retired back in 1998…1999 maybe.

Well, my daughter who’s home visiting saw fit
to stop by Kroger to buy her essential food groups -
chocolate, chips, chocolate, Cokes, chocolate.
She saw Mrs. Jones in the store…eating Fruit Loops.

Mrs. Jones was just sitting in the cereal aisle,
eating from an open box, wearing this huge smile.
My daughter asked ‘Recognize me? It’s been a while.’
‘Why, Jan, hello. Have you done your homework, Dear?’

Jan said seeing Mrs. Jones like that reduced her to tears.
A lady came hurrying; she was Mrs. Jones’ daughter.
She explained ‘I was getting her prescriptions. I fear
she’ll get lost. I should get a leash…I really ought to!’

Back home, Jan remained upset, seeing her that way.
‘Dad, this wasn’t a senior moment! Alzheimer’s had
stolen her mind. She had a brilliant mind! I’d say
she was the best teacher I ever had. It’s just so sad!’”

My neighbor’s tale sent chills all down my spine,
developing Alzheimer’s being a fear of mine…

Harry Edward Gilleland      4.1.02