13 June, 2004

Enjoying Grandmother

...tell it to me slowly/tell you what/I really want to know....

The residents take care of one another in a way that is very simple and childlike. They push one another's wheelchairs, open packets of crackers, pick up napkins that have fallen out of reach. My Gran does it constantly. The others seem to think of it sporadically at random.

"I like your slave bracelet. I always wanted to wear one, but my mother said they were common, so I never did."

We bought her an ankle chain that year for her birthday. She still wears it, twenty two years later. I ask her about it now.

"Well, I never had one as a girl. My mother thought they were common. But she's dead now, so we showed her!" And she laughs like I remember her laughing at our family's macabre sense of humor, holding up her still shapely leg, turning her foot, admiring the gold chain.

Through the plate glass we watch birdfeeder activity and traffic while we pick at dinner. This hospital food is nearly edible, some days.

"There goes a red one. I mean REALLY red, screaming Look At Me, Look At Me!"

Yes, Grandmother, very bright red.

"There goes another red one, but not so bright. It doesn't scream Look At Me."

No, I suppose not. Look, there's a red car.

"That's REALLY red, it screams..."

Yes. Look At Me.

I receive a lesson in Be Here Now. Yesterday is forgotten, quite literally, and tomorrow beyond comprehension. There is only this moment to live in. Having two speeds, Off and Overdrive, I learn to adjust to Coast.

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