May 02, 2013

Dear Celia

Dear Celia,

Truthfully, I know not where to start this letter, which I feel as I have been writing for ten long years. I cannot recall the last time we spoke, or at least a 'we' where the conversation flowed in both directions- to and fro- and not just from the mouth of a naive young girl who knew not what to say to a woman who could no longer hear the words of the living, but rather the echoes of a dimension we could neither see nor reach. Where all I could do was offer you another jelly baby and look into your sad, lost eyes and wonder what you were thinking in that room and that bed that wasn't your home. 
I think about you everyday, carrying you on the middle finger of my left hand, my thumb curled and pressed against the cool emerald as if to keep it warm or seek comfort from the only concrete things I have left of you, as if my thoughts sometimes aren't enough and a touch can reach you wherever you may be... as if wearing your rings means that you're something more than just a thought; a memory.

You are nowhere and yet everywhere that I want to see you, if I look. In a piece of turkish delight, a cornish wafer or the lyrics of a song you loved. It seems I remember so little and so very much of you at that- who measures what we remember and of what importance it holds? I couldn't tell, if asked, the full story of your life, for I knew you only as my grandma from the eyes of a girl who didn't need to know your political persuasion or your thoughts on the war. And so it is that I think of you in wilted spring flowers, in the breadcrumbs while making biscuits and when my hands are cold, desperately seeking yours to make them warm again.
Of course, it is these things about you that I wish I knew now I'm more than a girl. What was it like to have six brothers? How did you feel all alone with your first child, wondering if your husband would return in one piece, or return at all? When that man, my grandfather, did come to pass in 1982, what did it provoke within you? You told me how you had gone to your bedroom where he was resting and he raised his arm suddenly, as if to say something profound and then, as if he'd changed his mind, decided to simply die instead, never again to utter another word. How did this change you? And, when you yourself came to pass and your mind broke free from the shackles of your cloudy dementia, did you feel peace at last?

Who were you? Who are you, my grandmother, and so much more that I never did, and never will, truly know as a woman?
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  1. secondopinion07 May, 2013

    A warm and affecting piece of writing. Thank you for sharing. Deserving of more comment.

  2. Such an eloquent writer my little Sally Spoon. This warmed and saddened my cockles xx


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