Sunday, 9 March 2008

Card (2)

I was thinking of calling this one, Card (2) : pissing on the matches that light the fireworks of poignancy. Obviously I decided against such preposterousness.

With a little trepidation, I called in on my grandmother mid-Saturday morning (I was spending the weekend at my mother's, they live very close to each other). She looked gaunt, tired and not a little lost. Once she'd remembered which grandson I was (and other such facts), I produced the aforementioned birthday card, and asked if she would write a message in it for my mother. She did well at first though she got a little mixed up and wrote from your daughter. That was easily amended, and I promised I would pass the card on to my mother: I kept it in my bag ready to pass on this morning along with my own card and presents.

She had seemed less than aware that it was my mother's birthday weekend, I had to remind her of the day and date a couple of times.

Later that afternoon, my mother popped up to see her for a short while. When she came back down, the following conversation ensued:

mum: she's given me my birthday card.

me: no, I've still got it with me.

mum: oh?

me: it's in my bag, upstairs!

mum (laughing): where the hell has she got this card from then?

me: haven't the faintest...

If it should come to pass that she's still here when my mother has her next birthday, I'll keep this card in reserve. When I went to see her later she was much more lucid and bright than she had been in the morning, it was nice to spend the time chatting - or at times just being there - with her. I had to smile though when she asked, "am I right in thinking it's your mother's birthday sometime soon?"

19 comments:

nmj said...

What a cool granny you have, confused but cool! Where/when did she get the other card?! x

trousers said...

Thanks nmj. I've really no idea where and when she got the other card - she's been housebound pretty much for some time. Thing is, if I were to ask her, perhaps she wouldn't know either, bless her.

B said...

what a sad/happy post. I'm glad she's still having good days.

trousers said...

Yes b, sad and happy. I think her good days and bad days run concurrently, at least in my experience (though my mother, who sees her several times every day, would not agree if I think properly about it. She's described one or two verrry definite Bad Days). She seems utterly lost and absent some of the time, which heightens the sense of her physical frailty too: yet on the same day she can - will - be relatively lucid and insightful and so much brighter.

Lady in red said...

yes it is both sad and happy at the same time. The good thing is that when they are not lucid they don't know that they are not.

zola a social thing said...

Have you said this before somewhere?

Bindi said...

How wonderful that she was able to surprise you both! Thanks for sharing this delightful epliogue to the card story, trousers.

I hope when I start to loose my marbles I'll be able to keep em guessing just like your gran.

(This is slghtly off track, I hope you don't mind): I have a friend who wants to be a wayward granny and send random postcards from around the world to her family. I had just thought it would be nice to make cakes and flakey pastry sausage rolls like my nanna did. The wayward granny image does have its appeal, but in the end I would rather have made strong connections so that my grand children do what you are doing: spending time close to her and that being important to you even when she doesn't make sense.

Caroline said...

I can't find the right wording. I feel such a mix of emotions.

I love that your mum has a card of mysterious origin.

x

trousers said...

True, lady, very true. I do prefer her to be lucid with all the frustration it entails for her about what she can't remember and so on: but I recognise how much that's about my own needs.

No I haven't zola! Same story, different chapter :)

Thanks bindi, I'm glad you liked it. I like your thoughts about being (or not) a wayward granny too. As I've posted elsewhere, if/when I get old I would like to wear a hooded top and wander down the road late at night with my arms stretched out in front of me and emitting unearthly wails. I reserve the right to change my opinion should I reach such an age...

Caroline, I know that feeling well :) I appreciate you saying what you've felt able to anyway. x

Merkin said...

'pissing on the matches that light the fireworks of poignancy.'
.
Ooooooooh, I am soooooo jealous.

trousers said...

Ah yes merk I was pleased with that little phrase. I couldn't bring myself to make it the title though, that would have been too much :)

Merkin said...

As the Master of Bad taste, I would have just horsed on and bugger the consequence.
My motto.
And this is speaking as someone who has even been 'censored' occasionally by the lovely NMJ for posting 'gut reactions'. Thankfully, she is very understanding.
If you have time, check out Barnacle Bill's site for the following peon of musicianly gut reaction :
http://tinyurl.com/2vbas5

zola a social thing said...

Methinks Trousers is under pressure from that nasty middle-age crisis thing which seems to inflict itself upon so many of the middle classes.

Now our beloved Trousers says that he has not said this before and, just before he gagged, he said I am original. I am ! I will be.

Suspect ole Freddy Neatshoe dancer is giving our Trousers hell.

trousers said...

I'll check that link out forthwith, merk.

zola, mid-life crisis is about right, though I'm not sure about the class thing. As for the rest, you've really lost me now...

trousers said...

Oh, you mean Friedrich.....
Still lost though.

DJ Kirkby said...

Aaaaahhhh...sweet.

trousers said...

Thanks dj :)

But Why? said...

Awww... I hope a) I get to reach the age of 92; b) if I become befuddled, it's in as equally an endearing manner as your gran has managed!

trousers said...

I agree but why?, though I think my mother, who's there on a daily basis, would probably struggle with the notion that it's endearing...