I wrote this several months ago while volunteering. It started when I opened a bag of donated women’s clothing…
I smelled my Grandmother’s perfume and it cornered my thoughts. I badly wanted it to draw me into a vivid memory, but all I thought of immediately was her hands. Wrinkled in a real but not very elegant way, with long nails and a pretty, tired wedding ring.
I longed for a scene to play in my mind, but it wouldn’t come.
So I forced it: searched about my mind, found a story to tell myself.
I would go to her retirement home and sit with her.
Try to lovingly make good conversation.
Help make her bed.
Help find whatever had been misplaced.
Join her in eating peppermints.
I never knew any of my grandparents when they were in their prime, really. It always seemed painful to me: seeing someone as a victim of time, wondering who they once were and how they once life-lived.
The coarsely cracked photos help and enthrall, but as such they also manipulate: temporarily pulling me into a world I wish I’d known, then remembering that there’s nothing further, wondering why, and hoping for sure Restoration.