you know the place i’m talking about. a couple blocks off your grandmothers’ old house, where time seems to stop. and the mansions just grow larger; the lawns greener, in a world where money was never the question. it was the answer.
and the festering sickness in my mind could be erased in a few convincing words; and suddenly there’s nothing left of me but what i have heard.
and yet still; i’ll climb up the trees when no one’s looking, reaching desperately towards the sky with all the hope i have left in me. even long, long, after you’ve locked the door. and thrown away the key…
because you know the place i’m talking about. a medium-sized property with the most beautiful garden, where every last piece of you will someday fade away.
and it’s strange. you’d think, by this point, memories like these would finally give up and leave me alone. but… they won’t. and instead, they haunt me, all stained a deathly grey.
As some of you who’ve been following this blog since the very beginning know, my grandma has dementia–I used to write about it a fair bit during the early days of this project.
I’ve been pretty up-close with her decline–she started to really show symptoms around when I was eleven, the summer before I would start seventh grade.
In some ways, I guess I’m glad that I got to be there and see that; however heartbreaking it was–because it shaped a lot of my writing, and how I see the world. But… it also made me very aware of death from a young age, and honestly, it was pretty difficult to process as an eleven-year-old.
Pre-dementia, I never had a particularly good relationship with her–she was fairly withdrawn and formal around me, and I only went over there when my mom had to work and there was nowhere else to go. Most of the time, I’d bring a giant bag of library books and work through them all throughout the day; hiding up in the guest room. Sometimes, we’d do puzzles, or she’d help me work through math problems for school, or maybe just maybe we’d go on walks to the ocean. And then I’d go back home, and I probably wouldn’t see her for another six months or so. She was always a very formal, logical person, and I was always far too wild and emotional for her to truly understand. So how am I supposed to mourn a relationship I never really had?
I saw her a couple days ago–she’s in a home now, so we’re only allowed to see each other through the window–which was definitely hard, but it was still something. I cried a lot. Because I don’t know in all honesty how much longer she has left to live; probably only a year or so. I don’t even know if she knows who I am. But we read her Alice in Wonderland, and she smiled, even if didn’t have the words for what she was feeling. And I think that’s all I can ask for.
Lots of love,