A message from Mum.
Grandma died this morning.
And through my grief, knowing it was better this way,
That this life was no way to live.
Wondering whose photographs are on the walls.
Misplacing treasures in careful places.
Confusing hour… day… year…
Fading. Disappearing. Forgetting.
And who’s in THAT picture?
‘They’re my children, Grandma.’
Oh, you have KIDS? Aren’t they beautiful!
‘We think so, Grandma.’
Children kissed moments before, through car-doors,
Remembered only in reminded minute-memories,
And in baffling frames;
(Un)familiar little faces watching from the wall.
Realising over and over
That Grandad’s not coming back.
And forgetting again.
Now, where IS Nev?
Recurring grief. Furious helplessness.
Those PEOPLE stole my rings.
Why doesn’t anyone visit? Or call?
And when will He take me?
Her daughters, tried. Tired. Terrified.
‘Did you have a nice day, Mum?’
I haven’t been anywhere.
‘We just got back from lunch. You had the fish.’
But we remember
Her vivacious energy
Her diamond mind
Those hands that cupped our faces
Squeezed our cheeks
As she planted kisses
On our lips
We rolled our eyes and snorted
While Grandma’s laugh came thundering from the deep
Like a drumbeat; rhythmical, contagious
Her shining blue eyes playing the melody
On her knees on the carpet, games with granddaughters
Would you like a cup of tea, Mrs Green?
Oh, I’d be delighted, Mrs White!
Pretend sips, more laughter, exploding, bellowing
Four generations now
Real cups of tea
Small room, big hearts
Here, darling, have a biscuit
‘Oh, no thanks Grandma, I’m stuffed’
Go on, one won’t hurt
‘No really, Grandma, I’m fine’
I’ve got some clothes for you to take home
And some books
You really should eat more
You’ve finished? Here, have another biscuit
Grandma’s hands, now on new faces
Little faces with matching blue eyes
Squishable little cheeks
More kisses, on cheeks and tiny lips
Now listen, can you hear it?
Deep from her belly it bursts
Belting, blasting, booming in the silence
In memory of my Grandma,
4 November 1922 – 15 January 2014
Survivor – Optimist – Pioneer
And also for those touched by the tragedy that is Alzheimer’s.