Wednesday, November 11, 2009
It didn’t feel right… something just didn’t add up… It was just not how it used to be... how it used to feel. Pulling the comb through that frizzy, tightly curled hair is somehow still familiar. The application of make-up is long in the past. This powder blue make up case hasn’t been pulled out for at least a year and a half. Memories are blurry and only show up every now and again, but only as bits and pieces and don’t make a lot of sense. Catching that flaw is not easy to admit. Understanding the change is not much fun at all. Looking in the mirror only makes one wonder who that stranger in the mirror is, looking back. Certainly isn’t a familiar face. A stranger really… should I introduce myself?
She has so many stories to tell… so many experiences to share… so much advice to give… but the brain just keeps scrambling the stories and they just keep coming out so wrong. Giving up… not wanting to tell anymore… no more humiliation of that old age. Knowing people like Howard Hughes in person, having driven in his car many times and remembering that he was an anal person, yet carried a distinctive and not so pleasant odor is just not all coming back to the fullest. Remembering that the family came here from England to Connecticut and then on to Yuma is only a blur. The smile that automatically forms when seeing the turquoise jewelry that was made by the family with the help by real Indians, is only short lived. Knowing that the first husband’s hands where involved in building one of Americas monuments, the Hoover Damn, is of no proud recollection anymore. Even that the last husband worked on the Space Shuttles, beginning with the very first one, has very little, if any, meaning today. And those boxes full of old photographs are nothing more than black little squares as the eyesight is a long departed friend.
It used to be so easy getting out of bed. It used to be no thought at all which shoe goes on what foot. There was never a question of what kind of food was preferred. It used to be a weekly activity to sit at the white round table in the kitchen near the sink and write long letters of the weekly occurrences to stay in contact with family and friends all around America. Using the phone to call friends and check to make sure they don’t need any help. These days the mailbox is empty and collecting dust. The phone hasn’t rung in a long time. Visitors are scarce. Friendships are a long gone memory as she is the only survivor of her own past. All four husbands have past and the last is a heartfelt and very seldom thought without any relating feelings.
All these years; 88 years… building memories only to forget them. Only to not recall how warm she felt in the comfort of her husbands. The joy she had raising two children. The pain she felt when her son died way before his time. The fun that was felt deep into the bones when competing in ballroom dancing. The likings of movies with Alan Ladd. All these wonderful memories are lost in time, never to be remembered with joy by her. The question “was it a nice life?” or “was it all worth it” can never be answered by her…this woman who does not recognize her own reflection in the mirror.
[I wrote this blog three years ago about Lewis' Grandma. Today, she is turning 91 and the words in this blog have not changed for the better. Today, remembering is not at all a task for her. Today, she rather confuses the past with the present. Her short term memory no longer a good friend to her at all and her long term memory shrinking to something that even her daughter has a hard time making sense of. We will go, as every year, to celebrate her birthday. It’s not easy to look into her eyes, wishing her a happy birthday, when the meaning for her for an occasion such as this means nothing at all anymore. She will eat the cake, give us a smile and then insist on going back to bed. She is clearly a case of “When the organs outlive the mind”. Today, however, I raise my glass and wish her a Happy Birthday!]
Posted by Liane at 8:21 AM