To my grandmother

Thank you for your serenity, kindness, love and acceptance.  You never had a bad word to say of anyone to anyone.  You took to life’s difficulties with unwavering continuity.  You were present.  You found joy in simple things.  When you were less old than you came to be: a cup of freshly brewed coffee, a sneaky cigarette in the kitchen, playing a card game, a haircut, my staying over.  Later: holding my nephew as a baby, having someone visit, sitting next to you. Sometimes I worried, as you seemed lonely.  Your last year was tough: the falls, the hospitalisations, the dementia and delirium, the frailty of your body.  Yet, there were surprising moments of mirth, such as when your picture with the president appeared in the newspaper as you were the oldest patient in the ward.  I was happy you lived long enough to see me wed and awaiting my first child.  I knew what was coming.  I grieved in anticipation of the inevitable.  Although I was not able to spend as much time with you as I would have liked, I was comforted to know that you were in the good hands of people who cared for you.  I grieve now, but I also know that you were lucky to have lived a long life with people who loved and cared for you.

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