Down by the river

imageHe sat by the river bank
Black wavy hair
Brushing his shoulders
Eyes of deepest green
He was there
Sitting between the cat-tails
Arms wrapped around bended knees
Skin glistening in the afternoon sun

That’s where I last saw him
His stare skipping the rippled water
His smile the one I fell for
As I waved my arms and cried his name
He waited
There by the river
As my blood pooled against the bank

Photo Credit

Mother’s Day

From a child, to the adult that I am
You cared & guided me
Along life’s path
Selfless in your love
Today I want to thank you
For making me the person I’ve become

I didn’t think when I was younger
Of the struggles we’d face now
Once upon a time you held my hand
To cross the busy road
Now it is I who hold yours
Our ups & downs & in-between’s

Our tears of joy & sorrow
Our laughter through the years
Not knowing how life would change
But no matter where this journey takes us
Our bond & love forever will remain

“Happy Mothers Day”

To all the mums around the world

To all the children who no longer have their mums by their side

To all who have struggles and all who don’t

Remember them today & always


Chat time – Christmas with my penguins

Christmas Day in Melbourne was 30+ deg. We held Christmas lunch at daughter B’s home. Unfortunately their cooling decided not to work, so we all suffered in the heat.

My brother tried to late to get a wheelchair taxi to pick mum and pop up, so my nephew who is a tall, large man pushed pop in his wheelchair to the house just over a kilometre away.

Pop came in and looked around at family who came to greet him, I put my arms around and gave him my special kiss, once on the lips, one on each cheek, one on the forehead. He looked at me and started to cry, saying I held on to Christmas for you. I told him he can just hold on some more then.

I sat beside him, feeding him, then daughter K and daughter B did. We held his glass so he could drink, as he shakes so much now. He enjoyed his food, he cried a few times watching his family. Eyes barely open, due to his MSA and his swallowing becoming more difficult.  K stood up and said a few words of thanks, for those who helped make the day and for still having Pa with us. Mum sat, ate her lunch, knowing but not knowing how we were all feeling.

After lunch he needed to lie down, we wheeled him towards the couch and the ‘boys’ stood him up, the first time in over a month, lying him on the couch where he slept for over an hour. It was a day that had sadness, tears, smiles and memories.

A taxi able to take him back to the home. I called in on my way home, as I hadn’t been back there for some days. Mum refused the air con to be on again, the room was 25 deg, with windows closed.

Each day I’m grateful, each night I shed tears, each morning I hope.

I hope that you all had a very merry Christmas full of love and joy.

Treasure those you love,for they can be your heartbeat, not only on the ‘special’ days, but every day.


update on Pop

Six  days in Hospital & now back at Aged Care (ASL). Life became a complete blur, paperwork needing attending to forgotten. Appointments, schedules…all of it no longer important. Days turned to nights in the hospital. Similar to now. Pop has each day thought it was his last, so we are trying to be positive around him, as he’s very scared of closing his beautiful blue eyes and not opening them again. Our bond so close and even closer now.

Mum on the other hand, though not really knowing what is happening, has, through her vascular dementia changed dramatically. I am her competition, I am a dictator, I’m interfering, as I spend 10-14 hours with pop (and her) and she feels threatened.

He has blood in his urine, a blocked kidney, double vision. Some days better than others, some he smiles, chuckles, calls B and K ‘cheeky little blighters’. Other days or for the most part, his MSA makes him sleep, unable to open his eyes fully when awake, his arms shake, his voice barely audible.

He asked for all the family to come in, so he can then go in peace. 14 of us plus his 2 great grandchildren are taking food a ‘pre-Xmas lunch’ into the home tomorrow for lunch. He asked if I’d get everyone to bring Panadol in, so that he could take it after they leave. I said no & unless you take 100 of them, it won’t do what you want.

Mum and I simply don’t get along anymore, today we had 42deg C, she screamed every time I put their air con as, as her body thermometer isn’t working and she’s freezing as well as the ‘imaginary draft’. It’s draining, it’s frustrating as pop gets upset hearing her repeat the same thing over and over and over and her fighting with me. This is dementia, this horrid disease that has taken her from her family.

She hates me coming in every day, but I will continue to do so, it is my wish and also pops. I hold his hand during the day, when needing to sleep myself, he says please don’t go, so I stay till I know he’s asleep, returning the next day. Mum spitting venom at me for the majority of the day.

I had a service last Friday, I have one Christmas Eve, I told pop he can’t ‘go’ anywhere, as I wouldn’t be able to do it.

Signing the DNR as pops wish, the most painful thing I had to do.

We have him still, life does end, but it sucks and I hate it, the whole situation, especially with mum making it worse.

He knows I love him to the moon and back and when the universe wants him, I know above all else that I will have no regrets.

Thank you for your kind wishes and thinking of me and my family who you have never met, it means so very much.



A very tired me and my darling pop.


breakfast love


Warm as the toast that pops on your plate

Hot as the tea that is Earl Grey

Soft as the butter that melts on your knife

Hard as the cheese you now start to slice

Cold as the liquid that glides down your throat

Sweet as the jam you’ve spread on croissants

Mesmerising as the strawberries succulent

Sad that this rituals come to an end

Exhilarating to think you will have it again

Angry when done there’s no time to relax

Painful the dishes you now have to wash

love ~ like breakfast ~ the most important ‘food’ of the day.


The sign is on one of our walls – Robyn this was for you  😉

I’m with you…always


I kiss both cheeks
Your forehead
Say I love you
Watch your eyes
They now have lost the sparkle
And speak more
Than your voice
The struggles through your life
Do they compare
With your life now?
The father, my father whose
Heart beats in time with mine
I hold back tears
Not allowing 
My sadness to be seen
I worship the man you are
The father you have been
Memories of games played
Laughter, strong arms
Words of advice
Always there, those smiling blue eyes
Gentle, self effacing
Never a harsh word
Always loved and adored
I hold your trembling hand
Listen as you whisper you are
A burden, a dill, useless
Words cannot describe my love, my
Admiration I have for you
You will not see me cry as we
Look into each other’s eyes
This I do alone
I kiss both cheeks
Your forehead
I say I love you

this will explain my sink or swim piece I recently wrote


The blueness of your eyes carries me
To the ocean
Where I float above the undercurrent
Your laughter
Takes me to the mountain tops
Without a fear of falling
Your strength
Supports me when I feel that I may fail
Your caress
Settles me when I’m afraid
We didn’t know before hand
How two lost souls could join as one
Of all the people whose paths
May never cross, ours did
Like the grasses that blow in the
direction of the wind
We were blades it seems
That always grew side by side



I called your name you turned
the hurt in your eyes resembled bruises
your mouth a wound that could not speak

I cried in vain, my apologies
fell around your feet sweeping away
in the wind that also had taken your trust

I reached out, my hand locking your elbow
as I felt you pull away
please ….don’t

my words in staccato
the notes sombre held no meaning
and you walked, my grip released

my feet held in sand as the water
drew from my ankles
the rush unbalancing my stance
as your silence did my heart

Copyright J Tacken 11.4.2015



Her eyes no longer red and raw

her hair fell across her face

a curtain of privacy

till he held her hands

a streak of lightning broke the spell

she drew herself up

like a wilted flower grasping at the sun

holding her face in his hands

he tasted the doubt on her tongue

pain on the roof of her mouth

before she gave in

shaking off the past

like raindrops off umbrellas


copyright J Tacken 24.3.2015



Under Water


I’m dressed
water, fat, muscle, bone
makes up the me
say nothing of the heart
that beats ‘neath fine skin
a blade between ribs
would empty me
spill the empathy
that holds so heavy
I’m losing strength
to carry this
I see it now a burden
yet this is who I am

Not a day passes
when I don’t ‘feel’
I hear the calls
watch arms above the waterline
I know they’re drowning
friends say they can swim
strip the water, fat, muscle, bone
I can’t, I don’t believe them
I dive in regardless of the blade

Copyright JMTacken 11.2.2015


K still struggles, trying to find work, dealing with her BPD.

Tests from her seizure on the 21st December are still  being undertaken. The Neurologist said Epilepsy, but not conclusive until a further MRI and sleep deprived half day EEG are performed.

Pop is still in the Rehab Hospital, they are saying if he can stand out of the chair without assistance, or walk with his walker, with confidence , he may be able to go back home on the 19th, I can’t see this happening.

I visited him this afternoon and took him in the wheelchair to sit under the trees, as he hasn’t been out doors for 3 weeks.

Mr.S and I had a weekend away last weekend, but my mind is always elsewhere and it is draining me.

Thank you you for the emails and messages, I’m just tired and haven’t been able to concentrate on writing or reading your posts. I hope to soon. I hope you are all well, I have missed you.