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working on a song about leaving past behind
Posted: Friday, December 7, 2018 10:04 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3608

"Help Yourself" (My pretty things)

Here I am I've gotten old
can't remember to close the door
one last move, that's what I'm told
but I see there's one thing more
help yourself to my pretty things
stuff I bought to comfort me
flowered curtains, clothes and rings
time may come when you may need
to take some comfort from my pretty things.
heavy blankets, rugs, and chimes
found they healed my heart at times
I can't using it where I'm going
winds there are gentle, the sky is glowing
help yourself to what you can use
make me happy, don't refuse
help yourself to vintage vases, my bedside lamps,
the tall bookcase and my perfume, 
the cedar chest made by my gramps
give yourself a pretty room

the dress I saved for some day later
that big blue couch, my car, my home
all my money, there's nothing greater
than the love I leave you when I've gone to roam

 take my old rocker into the sun

bought at a sale 10 years ago

sit and hold your little one

holding on while letting go 

Help yourself to my pretty things

help yourself to art on the walls
 the Irish linens, the silver spoons
my old guitar, my winter boots
all my stars and all my moons

Help yourself and all your friends
let this remind you of my love for you
Help me have a gentle end
 and give away my pretty things.

help yourself to my pretty things

Iris L.
Posted: Saturday, December 8, 2018 5:01 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18061

This is a great song, Alz+! 


Iris L.

Amor Fati
Posted: Saturday, December 8, 2018 9:32 PM
Joined: 1/9/2016
Posts: 87

Oh Alz+ your song is so lovely. I read it several times now, and it gets more beautiful with each reading. You are so brave and courageous. Pretty things will find their way to your new house. You are such an inspiration to all of us. Many blessings to you on your journey.
Posted: Saturday, December 8, 2018 9:36 PM
Joined: 1/17/2015
Posts: 4

You have inspired me to give away things that I have no use for. I have been struggling with letting it all go. It runs in the family. Thank you so very much I needed this today.
Posted: Sunday, December 9, 2018 6:36 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3608

adult orphan - (your name is heart breaking, I understand the meaning). makes me happy if it helps you rethink the cause of our dread about giving stuff away too. I wanted to FEEL generous again, to enjoy imagining someone having a chance to enjoy the things that made me happy. I knew I wasn't going to take any of it to the After Life and I was not going to drag it to where I am going now. I just could not get in the spirit and wanted to know what was blocking me.

I decided it was lack of imagination and fear of being dismissed from all memory.

writing this song opened my heart, moved my focus from me to my children, neighbors, people I know could use or benefit from having the stuff that now is just a heavy burden to me. The song altered my sadness of stuck in  mud. I wrote it AS IF I was feeling good about letting go, before I felt that way, and the process has helped lift the sense that it is a sorrowful thing into my need now to regain compassion, helped me envision and feel the happiness of being given a perfect lamp, a comfortable mattress. 

I used to love donating, would take a load to migrant farmers housing when I lived in Florida and what fun to give away cookware, good sheets, clothes in the parking lot! It was like a party. That feeling was what I wanted again.

I always liked stuff that was handed down, the sentiment, the ecological part, to remember my aunts by having an old dress or dish...

 When I was young I had a vintage clothes store with a best friend in California. We both loved fabric and collecting old stuff, went to garage sales, flea markets, even rag factories. I learned to have "good stuff" by shopping thrift stores. I was the one who wanted my grandmothers' vases or blankets.

My son was chosen Best Dressed in high school - most everything he had came from a flea market! I sold vintage clothing on eBay for years until it got too complicated to edit photos and write descriptions. It was a fun hobby and I did make money. 

I never felt at home in my parent's house and when I left I made each place I lived - from a 1965 Ford van, to apartments, to houses - I made each place feel like my home with stuff I found pretty.

Now I sit in what looks like ruins,  and wondered why I was hanging on.

 I sat on couch at 4am looking around at all I will leave behind and cried and cried. I didn't know how to become generous with it again, I was already broken hearted about giving away my marriage, most of my friends have died, my daughter in law is averse to "used things" and my daughter lives in cramped apartment with no room although she did take my vintage jewelry collection last year.

 I let myself cry and be compassionate to whatever feelings were coming up,  the sense that my life didn't matter, how I failed as a writer,  the comfort of being able to make a little money on my own by selling stuff. 

Then the bottom line was found - that I was leaving my last "home", that the disease had progressed, that I was no longer able to manage my own survival. My struggle with cognitive losses were one thing, the cbd oil discovery gave me 4 extra functional years but Alzheimer's was going to win. That was why I crying, that my children and grandkids would not remember me if all my stuff was gone, and that I was unwanted if my daughter and daught in law did not want my stuff.

That was the sadness, not ebing remembered with happiness. Another part was giving up stuff meant I am closer to the final part of life, the fear that no one would help me stay who I was, and still am, they wouldn't know me without my things. 

I have a box of novels I wrote in 70's and 80's but could not sell and have thought of burning them. I have not re-read them or even looked at them. Maybe mice have eaten the pages, afraid to look. 

It was a blessing to have the song come to me, and maybe to have it sung by my friend on the streets, he knows some women who can put a tune to it. 

I can't write a novel again but I can write a song when I'm walking the dog even if I can't remember it when I get home.

Poetry, the arts, dance, singing speak to the soul of Azlheimer's. I am honored people are responding to me about it as I shared it in other places.

a plea to be remembered, a plea to my heart to focus on leaving behind small joys for anyone who can benefit.

It transformed my life and I am really happy a few people here got it too.

love and courage