in spring, a reminder of winter

February 11, 2013 monday - 03:32

Every time I see him, he seems to grow smaller. Now he pads around like a child, happy to be led, to be told what to do, when to sit, when to eat. So overjoyed just to see me and to receive two oranges from me.

I miss the grandfather I used to know. The man who took care of me as I grew up. Who watched over us every afternoon.

I miss your harmonica. I miss your old house. The backyard that I played in as a child, that became an adventureland drawn in pink and yellow chalk. The piano I was not allowed to touch unless I washed my hands. The blue-green glass windows. The roughness of the whitewashed walls.

Then there was the duck that was a pet. Your little silver suzuki swift. The little garden and the sloping driveway. The storeroom next to the kitchen where the racing bicycle was kept. The large bathroom upstairs that smelled a bit musty and had small white tiles. Your bed, with the little roll-out mattress, and your glass-covered desk. The painting above the dining table. The leather couch I would lie on all day, reading Nancy Drew storybooks.

There are no photographs now, and no going back. And I have few memories but these, because I was but a child and I forget easily. You were supposed to keep the memories for me. But even those are now fading. And you are the child now.

I wish I could give you more than just oranges. I wish I could give you time, roll back the years, and turn you back into the hero I used to know.

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