" Nobody Answers When I Call Your Name!"
- Published on Thursday, 28 March 2013 16:43
- Written by Stanton O. Berg
"When I Call Your Name"
It was several years ago that June stopped answering me "when I called her name"... sometime in the late stages of her twelve (12) year journey into the darkness of Alzheimer’s. It was perhaps in year ten (10) of the twelve (12) years of her struggle and battle with this disease that..."No body answered when I called her name!"
The song "When I Call Your Name" (1989), was first made popular by Vince Gill and reminds me of June and our last days together and my journey of grief since that day in October of 2008...the day that God took June away to her Heavenly Home.
I revised this old song to be June’s and my song and how our lives were changed by Alzheimer’s. When this song was first introduced in 1989, it would be another 10 years before Alzheimer’s entered our lives. At that time in 1998, neither June nor I really knew what the term “Alzheimer’s” meant!...the horror of the disease, or how it would impact and change our lives forever...or that some day I would say: "June , Nobody Answers When I Call Your Name!."
And even now in the house that was once June and my home, I still talk to June whenever I enter the house…two large framed smiling photos of June on the north wall of the living room greet me every time I walk in the back door…I talk to June as if she were still there…"but nobody answers when I call her name."...
And now when I drive the car up our driveway, I always look for June’s face in the window watching for my return…while I do not really expect to see her, I do know that if and when I do see her… that final "Bell Would Just have Tolled for Me” and our reunion is about to begin!
Note: The above comments were made and were applicable in the days prior to my injury from a fall prior to 1 November 2016...so this story should be considered based on my life in the days prior to that time...
Nobody Answers When I Call Your Name!
Revised by Stan Berg 2013.*
I spent my day, thinking of you!
I rushed to my home like I always do.
When I walked through the door,
My whole life was changed.
June, nobody answered...
When I called your name!
Only the lonely sound of my voice calling…
...and an echo of quiet and sadness.
Just like the rain, my tears started falling.
June, nobody answers...
When I call your name!
* Revisions: Title change, two verses removed, numerous word-changes...
The original Song by Vince Gill:
Note: For an original and beautiful poem by a fine lady poet from Nacogdoches, Texas, Marsha McNeely Ault, just scroll down to the 'Reader's Comments" section below...Marsha aptly named it "A Heaven's View".
June and Alzheimer's
June’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis came in late January 1998 following short term memory problems noted in 1997. June in her role as a nursing home visitor, knew at a very early date, the blackness and the depth of the distant approaching Alzheimer’s storm clouds. June displayed a concern for me. I remember well that Sunday (Ca. 1999) when June brought home the “Care Notes” pamphlet from our church - “Handling Grief as a Man.” She said nothing; just left it out for me to find and to read. I also remember the time that she detected one of my episodes of emotional sadness as I watched her illness progress. She tried to console me by saying “Don’t worry, I will be alright Stan!” I am sure at the time, we both really knew otherwise.
Thereafter, I lost June slowly, tear drop by tear drop during her long and exhausting journey into the shadows of Alzheimer’s that lasted for almost 12 years.
For the first 8 plus years I took care of June at our home. The first 6 years of these years were relatively easy years that only required accommodation for her short term memory problems. We continued to travel extensively and did the many things we had put off in past years. In Years 7 and 8 the disease started closing in on us as we saw June’s personality changes and eventually hallucinations and behavioral changes. In year 9, June went into a nursing home. As the disease progressed she had seizures, lost ability to walk or talk, had difficulty swallowing, eating, and became incontinent. During the last year and a half, she rarely opened her eyes or even responded. Aspiration pneumonia, a common Alzheimer’s complication ended her life.
June gave me a lifetime of unconditional love during our 56 year’s marriage and a life with only the regret that it is now over and that June has had to suffer the horrors of Alzheimer's. I owe her and God an unending debt! Her passing was as if a most beautiful symphony that played during our life together, now fell silent!
Before June's Alzheimer's diagnosis, our world and her character and personality were represented by a vast sea of bright and beautiful lights. After her Alzheimer's diagnosis, these bright lights all begin to slowly dim. As June slowly slipped deeper into the shadows of Alzheimer's, the lights gradually flickered out one by one.
Eventually the time came during the last two years of her life, when the brightness that marked our world and June’s life was replaced by one of darkness.
June rarely ever opened her eyes to a world that was then alien and strange to her. June had become so tired, exhausted and weary that in the last year of her life she lay like a wounded soldier on a battlefield. God mercifully took June home on the 23rd of October 2008.
June's passing leaves me with an emptiness that can never be filled! I am reminded of the words by John F. Nim:
"For should your hands drop white and empty - All the toys of the world would break."
"As I have said so many times in the past…I love you June and I will love you until the sands of time stop their endless trickle…there will never be another…I hope that some day as you walk the pathways of your heavenly home, that I will be permitted to join you…
"Please watch for me…listen for me to once again call your name…"
Amy Stiel Almas - Waterford, Michigan - (28 March 2013): "Brought tears to my eyes and reminded me of my Dad and the struggles my Mom (and family) went through. Thank you for sharing and God Bless you..."
Lynda Etlicher - Rice Lake, Wisconsin - (29 March 2013):"Sad isn't it? I do Hope Easter is a good day for you and I know June would want you to have a Great Day too!"
Kirsty Ballantyne Opswa - Port Hope, Ontario, Canada - (30 March 2013): "
After an almost 12 year journey into the shadows of Alzheimer's, early one morning in late October 2008, an exhausted June felt God's gentle touch on her shoulder and heard the words: "Come Home June!" As June lay like a wounded soldier on a battlefield, it was God's Angels that raised and ushered June into a Heavenly Kingdom to the sound of a chorus of Angels...and in the presence of Jesus and June's new home, a "Mansion on the Hilltop"... where there is no pain, nor illness nor tears...June's funeral notice as published in the Minneapolis Star in October 2008 can be seen on this website on the drop down menu under the "In Memoriam" label or - just Click on: