Friday, June 20, 2008

Because it is clear to me you seldom click as instructed

I want to share with you the story that I wrote (mostly to get bonus points for the QUASH Scavenger Hunt)...I linked to it below, but my informal audience surveys indicate you very rarely click the links I include (and even rarerly watch the videos I post).

Anyway, here you go -- it's called "Finally" and it was loosely inspired by my extended family's experience with Alzheimer's.

When the baby was asleep – finally – and when the dogs and cats had settled in for the night – finally – and when the last load was in the dryer – finally – she took a moment and sat down.


She pulled out the scrapbook she’d been compiling, off and on, here and there. Flipping past the photos and newspaper clippings, she smiled at the old days. Simpler times, happier days.

Turning to the first blank page, she knew it was time.


She opened the large manila envelope and spread its contents on the table: two pictures, a button, a library card, a fishing hook, an obituary from five years before. With a deep breath, she laid out the items on the page – everything in its place, everything just so.

But something was missing.

So she went to the drawer and pulled out a piece of handmade paper. It was bright blue, with flecks of orange and red, the last sheet of her favorite “special paper.”

On this last piece of precious paper, she wrote in careful script:
A grandmother is sometimes a Grandmother.
Often a Grandma, a Mamaw, or a Mee-maw.
But you were always my Granny.

My Granny who taught me to read,
My Granny who taught me to sew,
To ride a bike, to bake a cake, to catch a fish,
To fix a running toilet.

You were always my Granny, and then you weren’t.

I hate that you changed, that you seemed not to know who I was. I hate that it took you away from me, that I took myself away from you. That I didn’t, couldn’t come to your funeral.

When you weren’t my Granny, nothing made sense. When you started to forget, I started to forget. Who you were. Who I was. Who we are, and why, and how.

But I know now it’s the memories we have today and the love we share right now that make all the difference.

It took me five years, but I got it.

Her tears blessed the poem as she pasted it into place. And she prayed for a world without Alzheimer’s: a world where memories of years ago are here, now. Where memories of yesterday’s walk in the park are as fresh as the daffodil air, and where memories of a childhood dance are as detailed as delicate collar lace. Where patience flows like a steady river and hope bursts forth like a thousand sunrises.

She checked on the baby, and the dogs and cats, and the laundry. And then she sat back down and closed the finished scrapbook.

She forgave herself and her Granny. And she remembered.



Meana said...

Talk about tugging at the heartstrings! Set it in North Carolina and it could be Nicholas Sparks.

SSS said...

You are mentally disabled, but thanks. :)

Meana said...

I just finished a Sparks work (among several others)'re welcome. I'll take your snarky comment as a sign of your modesty. And oddly, I actually was going to click on that link before I figured out that you did the work for me this time. Thanks!

SSS said...

Haha, yes, you are reading my snarkiness correctly. That is actually high praise, but it made me uncomfortable. :)

And thanks for being willing to click the link -- I can always count on you!