Thursday, June 27, 2013

I'm Still Here (poetic piece about aging and illness)

Being a novelist, very few people realize that I do write poetry. I felt compelled to write this piece. Please feel free to share. I write this from professional and family experience.

You know, we've all done it. we've walked into a room to get something, then suddenly we can't remember why we walked into that room. Imagine living that everyday of your life. Sometimes we forget because we still have our health, we take for granted that everything can be gone. I have the distinct privileged and honor to spend time every day, working and trying to bring some light to those who suffer from any illness that impairs their memory. I try to make a difference for them, but really, it is them who make a difference in my life.

I'm Still Here
by Jacqueline Druga

I am your mother, your father, sister and brother.
Best friend, spouse, neighbor and other
I laughed and cried with you. I was there for you. I may be different now
I'm still here

My own memories don't define me, your memories define me now
When you look at me, I know
I'm still here

I may not recall your name but I remember the sun and how it feels on my skin,
walk with me
I'm still here

I’m not staring. I'm thinking, studying, looking at you because something sparks.
I may say nothing, but my mind isn't blank,
it's replaying one of many great times of my past
I'm still here

My whole life revolved around you and others,
now sadly I ask please don't let it revolve around three meals and four walls,
I still need to feel life
I'm still here

I'm not an object, I'm not a shell.
I still hear and feel emotion
Don't talk through me, talk to me
I'm still here

When you couldn't walk, I helped you stand.
Now give me your hand
When you couldn't speak, I was patient, because I knew you needed me.
I ask the same
I'm still here

This illness has robbed me of everything I hold dear.
My life, my precious memories, my independence and dignity.
It has robbed you of the 'me' you remember
But for the time being
I'm still here


  1. Well said! You DO make a difference in their lives every day, Jackie. So sad that people who have forgotten can BE forgotten...

  2. Wow Jackie! That is an amazing piece. I got tears in my eyes and goosebumps while reading it. Love it. I feel this poem, I see it every day at work. The saddest thing is when people who go through this have no family members, or people who care about them. Those ones are all alone in their confusion, and so scared.

  3. What a beautiful poem. Thank you for posting it. I know a few people that would love to read this.