DEAR FRANCES By Frances H. Kakugawa

I returned from my speaking engagements on the East Coast and found these insightful letters and emails waiting for me.

Dear Frances,

Your poem, “Tick Tock,” in the October issue, hit a nerve. When my father was in the nursing home, I asked him if my aunt and uncle had visited him. He didn’t answer. Then a woman in a wheelchair in the same room said to me,
“Honey, we don’t remember things like that.”

Elva

Sacramento, Calif.

Frances, your poem, “Tick Tock,” so captures, so understands the difference between interrogation and relating. Isobel used to say, “Bring me things, not news.” Same idea. Hardest of all are the tests that decide if you are to be treated as a fully adult human or some subspecies with a defect. The mini-mental exam can be so cruel and misunderstanding . . .

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