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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Eleanor



I will soon be a great grandmother:

Eleanor


Eleanor kicked off her shoes, threw her handbag on the table and breathed a sigh of relief, before filling the kettle and falling exhausted into the chair.

Two hours later she woke to the ringing of the doorbell. Stretching, she rose, slowly making her way down the hallway.
“Grams, you ok?” asked Rachel, noticing the red mark on her grandmother cheek whilst lifting the baby out of the pram.
“Fine dear, patients with problems, that’s all... and how’s my little Patrick today?” she forced a smile and tickled the baby under his chin. She loved the baby but was still a little resentful that it meant she was now a great grandmother. And , although her friends said , surely she was too young, she was still rather sad.
Rachel made tea as Patrick sat quietly on Eleanor’s lap.

“You know, you should retire.” She broached the subject directly as previous, more subtle attempts had proved ineffective.

“ I’ve a good few years left yet.” Eleanor darted irritably, proving her capability by bouncing Patrick up and down. “You all think I’m old and doddery. You can all...mind your own business.” She spoke forcefully hoping to put an end to it.

“That’s not true, Grams, but... you could be enjoying yourself,” Rachel persisted bravely “ and it’s not as if you need the money or anything.”

Rachel was right, she didn’t need the money, but her job gave her more than money. It gave her a reason to be living. She wasn’t ready to face retirement yet.

Eleanor ignored her granddaughter, changing the subject; they poured more tea and finished off six cream cakes
between them.

When Rachel had gone, she went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror, surprised and upset as usual by the image that stared wistfully back at her. A widow now for the last five years, the idea of walking sticks, colostomy bags, falls, dementia and being dependant on her family, haunted her thoughts. She picked up her jar of face cream, scooped out a generous amount, and smeared it over the wrinkles, gently rubbing the future further away.


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