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.


anniemcq said...

Hugs to hold you, friend. This is heartbreaking.

bobcat rock said...

So moving, Lady Hoo. I know it offers little comfort today, but i believe the core of her - your true grama - her spirit - knows and will always remember your kind words and gestures with lucidity and love.

Please look after yourself, friend.

I, Rodius said...

Oh, ow. I can't imagine that kind of ache. I'm sorry.

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