This Blue Fairy’s Life

Random stuff…straight from my head to your computer.

Sad and Free October 30, 2012

Filed under: Family,Life,Poetry,Writing — merrywether @ 8:17 pm

I wrote this poem a few months ago, after the death of my grandfather this past March. What started out to be a poem about the “new” grandma that I met post-grandpa (more of her personality, without the worry, stress, and anxiety of caring for a senile octogenarian has come to the surface), turned into my take on watching her care for my grandfather, and how everything she wanted took a back seat to her one true love’s needs. If you and I are personally acquainted, please be advised that I have not shared this with my grandmother; it’s too soon for her to see it. It may never be time for her to see it, but it was important that I write it.

Sad and Free

You have been

so angry,

so anguished,

so alone with your thoughts for

so long.

 

“Lena, get me a coffee”

“Lena, I need to go”

“Lena, where’s my dinner?”

 

A slave to your beloved sailor’s needs,

You instinctively ready your legs to move at the littlest cough;

The choking scares you witless.

You explode when the plate is pushed away after a few bites.

“But at least he ate something” we soothe.

You take it personally.

He never disliked your cooking before.

Now he wants grilled cheese or bologna.

He wants ice cream.

He has more in common with his great-grandchildren than he does with you now.

 

We see you are weary.

Your insistence on keeping him home pleases him

but wreaks havoc on your body and mind

Until he falls for the third time.

Three strikes and you’re out.

 

Sixty-five years of marriage

in a teary renewal of wedding vows,

surrounded by family,

In the nursing home.

 

Every day we bring you

to sit in his room.

You take walks.

You watch television.

“When the hell can I get out of this damned place?”

 

The new laptop gathers dust and is brought home.

The new cribbage set is tucked away in a drawer.

“We’ll play when we get home”, you say.

You know and we know that isn’t in the cards.

 

Seven months is a long time of begging – you bring him home.

For one week

You give him grilled cheese and bologna.

You give him ice cream.

He drinks his favorite Taster’s Choice coffee

 

“Lena, get me a coffee”

“Lena, I need to go”

“Lena, where’s my dinner?”

For one week.

 

Pneumonia.

 

“Lena”, he whispers now.

No more ice cream,

Coffee,

Grilled cheese,

Or bologna.

You both are gaunt and exhausted.

It’s time to say goodbye

To your even keel.

 

You are like a child as we hold you

And each other.

The stars and stripes

Laid in your arms

And a single trumpet

Herald the final sendoff

For your sailor’s final voyage back

To his Commanding Officer.

 

And you, grandma, as you always have

Stay and keep the home fires burning.

Sad and Free.

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