A walk that was once taken in long strides full of purpose and determination, has since been replaced with a stumbling shuffle.

Posture that was once straight and proud, shoulders thrown back as if to tell the world, "I am a man, strong and honorable." has since been replaced with a stoop.

Hands that were once steady, that gripped in firm greeting, hands that once held me up so I could see the passing parade over the crowd, have since been replaced with trembling and clutching claw-like extensions with twisted digits.

This is the old you. Not the new you. The old you.

Eyes that were as sharp as eagles, that missed nothing, that in fact, saw everything (like the time I made that naughty gesture to the man honking his horn in the car next to ours), have since been replaced by a filmy gaze. Squinting, there is no focus. Nor recognition.

A face that was handsome, with chisled features set in a warm open gaze, has since been replaced by a mask. Devoid of expression, save perhaps, desperation.

Skin that was once bronzed from the sun, smooth, and soft, has since been replaced by some wrinkled, tissue thin epidermis that is as dried out as your memory.

This is the old you. Not the new you. The old you.

I miss you. . .

Copyright 2000 Heather Bahnmaier. All Rights Reserved.

Alzheimer's Association

The National Parkinson Foundation, Inc.

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