I can’t remember your name, the Boxer said. I laughed, it doesn’t matter.
No go on tell me, she insisted, struggling into the adapted shower that is now woefully inadequate for her, letting the water run till it was hot. Neither of us were distressed by this first major lapse. That’s right she said repeating it when I told her.
I should have lied and claimed to be either of my sisters, I realised too late. A cruel experiment perhaps to see if she truly had misplaced me.
From there it was business as usual and she was indulgent of bungled attempts to make the process easy. Ah well.
The old beam of pleasure at the arrival of my beautiful daughter, youth personified: charm, grace and ease, to say goodbye before her long journey home and a moment of realisation when they kissed, all right Grandma?
Not only might this be their last, but this scenario would repeat as it had for aeons generation after generation.
As a list of chores I have done cleaning, cooking, gardening, and tending the Boxer.
An impressive list.
In reality, only the cleaning was impressive. All the rest was a swift and timed half hour or so of wilful neglect.
The cooking merely reheating, the gardening an intense leaf sweep and dig of roots from a very overgrown patch. The sum of the short bursts of digging will I hope add up to a cleared patch large enough to do something with.
As for tending to the Boxer, after a brief sit in our garden in her wheelchair having been lured with the offer of sunshine and our Sunday paper, when in fact the sun had already gone from the front – lately her only access to the garden unless we have it paved all round – to be abandoned while I did the cooking, gardening ( I had already done the cleaning)
Returned to her own snug little home just in time for her carer to actually do the tending….so I could escape home and do the only thing I wanted to do, but had put off all day.
That is to click my fingers over the key board.
Not a blog post to speak of.
We have been away for weeks. Long enough to have forgotten how it feels to be us, to be at home with our little routines. We have even forgotten what we look like.
We have walked to sun soaked villages perched high on rugged mountain passes. Not strictly true as I have a mortal fear of narrow paths and long drops, but we nearly did.
We have seen such sights and done such things, such that life will not be the same ever again.
And yet, pretty soon the couch slouches the same old way, sagging to the shapes of of our butts. The TV overheats from overuse and as the fire warms us to a stupor, the memory of the bright times reflect in the fire’s flames in our eyes.
The rabbit who sits in my mother’s garden has been absent for days. It’s an intermittent rabbit at best and doesn’t move when it’s there. You have to look for it in whatever location it has chosen for its intermittent presence.
Hard to say how old it is. It could be ancient and in its wisdom just sits and thinks, contemplating maybe or just sits, content enough, not even twitching or nibbling.
I wonder if it’s not an incarnation, a visitation (intermittent) from a past friend.
Let’s face it at 93 that could be most of them.
And then I wonder if it is an indication of the mood she will be in when I get there, and she refers to herself when she says, ‘The rabbit is here again.’
Perhaps the rabbit is an admonishment or better, an alter ego, especially now that Ma does not go out much herself and the rabbit is doing what she would be doing if she could escape too.
An omen even; but I haven’t decided if it’s a good omen or a bad one; not yet. It’s too intermittent.