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Monday, April 27, 2015

Poem and Story

Day 28:  28th April, 28th Poem

For the prompt:
In The Shade
Cold, 
Like marble,
Having hot bath

And also for today, a story:

                                Birthday

             My grandmother would much rather be running the London Marathon, especially as this was to be it's final year. Having already taken part seven times before, it was one of the things she most looked forward to.
             But, instead,  today being her birthday and also the last time we would see her, she is having a party.
             "Grams , what about this one?" Bright pink lipstick in hand,  hair dyed purple and gathered on top of her head,she looks away from the mirror as I hold up her  red dress decorated with tiny gold butterflies around the top.
             "OK, yes, that's fine. Get me a cuppa please, would you,  dear?"
             "In a minute, I just want to help find shoes to match your dress"
              The truth is I want to spend as much time as I can with her before she leaves for good.
Before I can bring the tea back to the bedroom she is standing beside me in the kitchen.
              "Wow, you look great. Well, you always do, but today..." I turn,  fiddle with the cups and quietly wipe away tears  that I can't hold back.
              "I never told you how I met your grandfather, did I?" she sips her tea, enjoying a moment of wistfulness. I try to compose myself as I answer,
               "No, but you better do it now or I'll never know." So she did.
               A tale of young love enfolds and we are both surprised when an hour later the doorbell rings. Mum and dad have come to take us to the venue.
               As we walk into the Sianuthe Hotel, balloons, music and about one hundred and fifty people give us  a cheery greeting. Grandmother smiles warmly as she is escorted through the adoring crowd, to her table, where she sees her close family gathered.
             "Happy birthday, Mum and huge commiserations. I wish it could be different" Auntie Rathuna  throws her  arms around her mother sobbing, as the others mutter their agreement with her heartfelt words. Two more daughters, one son and  five grandchildren take their turn in similar fashion. I try to sit next to my grandmother, but that place has been taken, on one side by my father, the eldest and on the other by Nick, my cousin and the eldest grandchild.
             We enjoy the most wonderful meal , with excellent service and even better food.
             "I think that salmon was the best I've ever tasted" Grandmother says pushing  her empty plate to the side and carrying on her conversation with my cousin Nick. She is always interested in hearing about his research into the  new  drugs programme. She has been closer to Nick since his Dad went three years ago after they found out that he had cancer of the bowel.
             It didn't used to be this way. In 2015 when grandmother was forty, dad told me that people were looked after when they had  these sort of illnesses and nursed till they died a natural death . He also said that people often lived till they were eighty or ninety or even a hundred. I couldn't imagine what that was like, what kind of world it was then . I mean who would look after all those people.
              My grandmother has been lucky. Today is her seventy fifth birthday. The age people are allowed to live to if they are fit and healthy.  If they didn't interfere she would probably live many more years. Maybe she'd be one of those who lived to be a hundred. No, that's too weird.
            The meal  over we hit the dance floor where my  grandmother, who loves dancing, doesn't sit down  till it's over.
The end of the evening comes much too soon  for my liking. But it's the way it is. The way it has to be.     We say our goodbyes, waving at the car as dad drives his mother to the Gryndiomo Centre where they will give her an injection and she will die.
Advanced style. This photo is for all those women who told me that I'd have to stop wearing red lipstick when I "get older." God, I'm happy I don't work as a make up artist, anymore! Ridiculous job that it was..
Notes:
Hotel name - Sianuthe - anagram of euthanasia
Gryndiomo - anagram of Dying Room

The above piece is a response to the news that the government want GP's to ask any older person, healthy or not, to sign a  "Do not resuscitate" form. We could be headed for a bleak world indeed.



2 comments :

Wayne Murphy said...

Well written, Marian. It really makes you think.

Cam said...

She is a beautiful, beautiful woman. And this provides a fascinating commentary on choice. Thank you.