You might know it but I was once an extremely vibrant person. This faded…being you see in front of yourself is but a ghost compared to who I actually used to be. The house used to ring with my laughter and I had a fiery temper too. Ooooh! Yes I did. I had family and friends. I was loved and I was popular. Most importantly, I had PLANS. Oh yes, such lovely plans. Plans to go to the beach over the weekend or to watch a movie. Plans to chill at home and cook up a feast.
Now I just sit in this small-ish room overlooking the lovely lawns and I wait. I won’t say I wait for death because I’m not quite there yet. But I do wait. I wish I could do more. More than read or watch a television show. Quite honestly, I’m bored.
I miss my home. The smell of fresh sheets, the way that house always had the right temperature. I remember the way the water gurgled, the way the doors banged. I remember everything. I remember the day I couldn’t take care of myself and had to be put in this home so someone else could. It’s not that I hate being here. It’s just that I always feel like a guest. I always feel like I’m going to head back. Unfortunately, I’m heading nowhere. Here I am. In this dollhouse, nothing more than a frail, porcelain doll. Loved and maintained but put away on a shelf. Far from the world.
I don’t drive anymore and I can’t drink. The doctor says no. although I’d love a chilled beer while eyeing some glorious fish ‘n’ chips. This was what I was doing when I first saw HIM. My laddie. People talk about love at first sight but that wasn’t it for me. This guy was HANDSOME and he turned heads everywhere he went. I didn’t know it then but he had found me beautiful too. A short few weeks later we were dating and married within the year. Close to six decades later, he left me with nothing but memories and a heart that ached more than my knees. That thought could put me close to wanting to die but I still really don’t want to go.
I want to walk on a beach. I want to learn to play the guitar. I so want to put together my own sandwich again. Meaty and loaded with mayo. The comfort, fatty home-made sandwich. Not the ‘approved’ BS I get here from my dietician. BAH! Wouldn’t that woman change if she had a bite of MY sandwich!
A creaking door brings me back to the present. ‘Your visitors are here’ says the nurse. I refuse help and get up on my own. I hobble and creak down the corridor to where my kids are sitting with their kids. I’d decided to move out of this Retirement Home once and for all. My laddie had put away enough money for me to live a full, happy life and I intended to do that.
The usual protests followed. They were worried about me but too busy or too far away to help me out regularly. ‘I have an assistant to stay with me all the time’, I declared. ‘I am leaving and I won’t listen to anything else. I don’t want to live like a trapped sparrow for the rest of my life! Whatever is left of it at least. I AM LEAVING!’ My sudden burst of energy surprises them. Eventually, they relent. Two days later, I am back home. I sit on my dusty couch and revel in the perfection of this little bit of universe that belonged to me.
My little nurse and I spent a week going about and putting the place back in order. She more than I. I could only do very little but I still did it. A week after I moved, I lay down in my own bed with the sheets smelling just as beautiful and comfortable as ever. I close my eyes and sigh.
Yes. Now, NOW I was ready to go. Now I believe, I was truly where I belonged and now, I believe I have everything that I could have ever wanted.
Watch out laddie!
Image credit : http://thumbs.dreamstime.com/x/lonely-old-woman-looking-out-window-13718014.jpg