Monday, February 18, 2008
Spoke with my grama last night. Our calls are so disorienting -- for me and for her -- that I, in my cowardice, make too few of them and instead send her little notes and artifacts -- a news clipping, the Colorado Review cover that came out a little while ago. Chocolates. Flowers. Hope being that they'll anchor her scattered mind somewhere in space, give her something to return to, read again. Enjoy. Remember.
Unlike a call which she'll forget shortly after it ends, and descend again into loneliness, to be roused when the phone rings and she answers it, repeating my name as if I were back from the dead, asking Where are you? and I tell her again: I'm in Chicago, Grama. This is where I live now.
Which gives us a good run of remembering: How she was born here. How her mother never wanted to leave. How they did when she was three, for Seattle, her parents divorced.
We stay in the past awhile: the light's better there. And then wander again into the now which she can barely describe anymore. It's all scrambled, she says.
And I fill my voice with smile and ask her small questions about her days that she's unable to answer and if I'm lucky the tears don't start to fall until I hang up the receiver.
Last night luck wasn't with me and they fell steadily almost from the very moment she said my name, searchingly, although I managed to keep my voice from cracking until the very very end, when it crumbled as I said I love you.