The progression

The progression

The progression

Things are progressing, I know.
Despite my trying to breathe in every detail of the moment in some childlike hope of preserving it–the shop-bought fragrance that releases in occasional puffs from beneath the hostess trolley by the door, the warm rumblings of the cat’s belly against my thigh, the silenced tennis match on the TV, the way the pale light falls in uneven stripes through the old, broken blinds—things are progressing (regressing?) and there is nothing we can do about it.
We are simultaneously slipping through the wide sinkhole of the future, and falling back through the broken pieces of the years. Everything is fluid. A wild river with fewer rocks and reeds to cling to, the farther we travel in either direction.
We will never return to where we began.
It is impossible. It doesn’t exist anymore.
I know things are worse because there is no refuge in the daylight. Her frantic searches for her children are no longer confined to the night-time hours, can no longer be blamed on the cruel deception of the darkness nor on bad dreams.
She cries for empty spaces. The cold depressions in her bed.
She longs to cradle phantom children, imagines small shadows playing upon the lawn, laughing and disappearing into the evening.
There is always something left or forgotten, even on a short trip. Something wrong, an argument unresolved, an irritating niggle, constant foreboding, chest-crushing fear.
She is almost eighty-five, and asks how on earth she has survived on her own since her parents died. Why she behaves like this and why she can’t get a grip of herself anymore by trying.
The mouth favours reason, but there are some questions that can only be answered by the heart.
Sometimes she trembles and gasps in the night. Sometimes she shouts, accuses and snaps because she is frightened.
Sometimes she eats ice cream in the sun and laughs until her amber-specked eyes are glassy with tears.
Sometimes she says I want to die. Sometimes she says I love you girls more than anything and you make my life worth living.
Sometimes she watches the young woman in the powder blue coat on the screen and smiles in vague recognition.
Most of the time, she is just like the rest of us. Clambering restlessly through the dark, not realising we are already home.

About Louise

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    1. Alzheimer’s is such a difficult thing to watch, to experience and to understand, knowing that you can’t help your loved one. It helps to write about it though. Thank you for reading. <3

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