How do you quantify a lifetime of loving care?
Do you measure it in minutes, hours?
Restless sleepless nights?
Do you assess its value in the quality of a memory?
The vividness of your recall?
The joy captured in a photo, the experiences preserved on video?
Can you gather up all that makes someone essential to you?
Can you put into words, take a feeling from the air and express it without losing all that makes it what it is?
How do you repay a presence so strong it moulds the person you have become?
How can you start and ever hope to stop when you begin to try and are doomed to hopelessly fail to describe this crucial character in the plot of what has come and what will develop in your fickle, fragile life?
If I sit still, let memories haze drift across my eyes,
If I reflect in, I can surface so many things.
Fragments of a day spent in the sun,
The sting of cold water as it hits my skin and the cooing of a gull.
Tales of heroes and heroines crafted with imagination,
Vividly told with animation and a triumphant goal.
Stories to teach a lesson,
Always with a generous sprinkle of adaptation,
The ability to reshape a plot as my mind wanders, is discontent to stay still.
Patience, kindness, strength and skill,
Words that search to summarize but never will.
If I look about my room,
Open boxes tucked tenderly away,
Preserved, wrapped in tissue, kept to be taken out on such a day as today.
I can carefully hold crafts created together,
Photographs of days spent in travel, on adventure.
Generations captured by a lens.
Time lends a yellowness,
A life held there, ambered in a frame,
One moment of many frozen, displayed plain.
What I see when I look upon this image is a picture of my past,
An element, a puzzle piece of what has made me, me.
A token to act as a trigger to spark a journey down the rabbit hole,
To transport back to a time, a place,
An experience shared; a loving embrace.
The smell of apple pie in a sun lit house,
That little robin you adore gracing every Christmas tree.
Delving into the depths of your attic,
Crutches seem to accumulate annually.
Finding jewels and gems, unraveling fictitious and frivolous mysteries.
Evenings spent in front of a computer screen,
Cards shuffled, stacked and cleared.
Watching you type and flutter across the keys,
Those busy hands that can never be still,
The many nuances of you that are a constant wonder to me.
When I’m cold I wrap myself up in your kindness,
Let soft wool and the product of skilled hands warm my body and my heart.
As I run my hands across the honeycomb, over diamonds and up the ladder on my back,
I see you there tucked in your chair, magazines around you, a pride of lions entertaining you.
Quick hands, sharp eyes and a gentle smile.
You beckon me to sit a while, lean over and show me how it’s done.
‘It’s easy, so easy’ you tell me,
I watch and wonder if it ever will be.
I don’t want to reach a time when it’s easy, I want to sit and learn from you.
I want to wonder at the speed and rhythm of your clicking needles,
See the fruits of yards of yarn gather and at last be worn.
I want to walk across the shore with you,
To watch that coloured wheel be spun.
I want to wake early and eat eggs for breakfast,
Share in the morning silence and the routine of satisfying Jurassic park.
I want you to know how much you’ve given me.
Not just in hand but in heart.
I want you to feel how blessed I am to have you,
To know you, listen to you, learn from you,
To come from you,
To have you in my life.
I hope you’re proud of what I’ve done so far,
I hope you’ve seen me grow and change.
I hope you remember laughter as I do,
I feel the distance when we’re apart.
I love to hear your stories,
To walk in memory with you hand in hand,
I long for that contentment as comfort falls between us,
That peace I feel being near you, never feeling without.
Dedicated to and inspired by my grandmother.