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  • Jimmy Broccoli

What If I Had Done Things Differently?

What if I had done things differently? –

What if I did not do what I did – and I did something different?



Mother - what if I had killed you when I should have?

What if I had put you out of your misery – instead of you suffering for an additional 3 ½ years? –

In terror, in confusion, in misery –

All of the time – every day – every hour – every minute – every second


All I had to do was put ______________ in your drink at the deli –

where we dined – all I had to do was to distract my father and my sister –

and make sure the wait staff and the deli worker replacing the salad plates did not see -

and put __________ into your drink –

and you would have been with us not much longer



I watch as you are confused and don’t know which side of the fork to use

I watch my father show you how to use the prongs and not the handle –

and then you panic because you don’t know who this man is –

you don’t know he is your husband –

so I reach my loving hand across the delicatessen table to take your hand within mine –

“I love you mother – and it’s okay – I’m here”, I say – and I see you are comforted by these words –

because you don’t recognize your husband – but you do recognize me



Not much longer…

Not much longer to suffer and be confused and to no longer be in an almost constant state of terror…


_________ would have killed you – it would have killed you quickly –

I made sure to choose medications where you would not have suffered –


and then _____________ to stop your heart – to stop you from breathing another breath…


Mother – if only I had had the courage to kill you when I could have…


I hope you will forgive me –

if only I had done things differently…



There are no medications strong enough to kill off the confusion of a patient with severe dementia –

There is no therapy, no counseling, and there is no hope of improvement –

There is no HOPE –

It is what it is – and it is fucking horrible – it’s a fucking disaster – it’s a nightmare that happens during the daylight hours –

And into the nighttime hours – and again into the daylight hours – and into the nighttime hours – and then again into the daylight hours, and into the nighttime hours, and then again into the daylight hours, and into the nighttime hours – and then again into the daylight hours…


every fucking day…


It’s a fucking horror show – with our loved ones playing the major roles in this sick – this sick-as-fuck adaptation of what life is supposed to be about –

It’s a fucking distortion of everything good –

It’s a fucking horror show –

It’s a goddamn horror show –


if only I had been stronger…

Mom – mother – I would have killed you –

I just couldn’t ____________________  (I just couldn’t) –

While we were at the deli with your husband and with your daughter –

all I had to do was to distract them – just for a moment –

and you would have died within the hour



__________________________  –

then you would have stopped breathing (no pain – no pain – I made sure of it)

[I did my homework – I checked with a chemist – there would have been no pain – no pain – I made sure of it] –

then your heart would have stopped…


Your dead body would then have been still within your confining wheelchair –

the chair that kept you captive for 7 years –

the chair you hated – the chair you tried to claw your way out of…

I would have burned the chair – after you passed –

because I know you hated it –

I would have burned it and danced around the fire afterwards –

because that is what you would have wanted –

you hated it as much as I hated the disease that overtook your mind


Fucking – god damn it – fuck – just fuck – god damn it -

I’m so sorry I wasn’t strong enough to kill you


I just couldn’t – I just couldn’t –


and that’s just not good enough


Mother – please forgive me (I just couldn’t – I just couldn’t) –


and I know –


I will never be able to forgive myself


Please forgive me – because I am not able to forgive myself…


I would have killed you – because I love you

but I was not strong enough…

Photo: Jimmy Broccoli.

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