Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Unraveled Stories

Nana C. is 93.
So she’s been told. The birth certificate doesn’t exist.
“Suppose’n you didn’t know how old you were? How old do you think you are?”
She’s passed me that line a few times over the years. Makes you think.
The other night it’s her and I for a meal. We’re onto discussing more then the weather. Somehow we got onto the old age topic. I reiterate dear Uncle Len’s comments.
“Old age is the s****,” he claims.
I look at Nana. Eyes lit up. Smooth skin for wrinkles. Graying on top. Dressed her best. Hands crimped with arthritis.
“What do you think of old age?” I ask.
“I want to enjoy my old age,” she replies.
So I ask her how she does that.
Turns out it’s the reading she savours. Along with still being able to cook up a good wholesome meal. Her exercises. Before she goes to bed and when she wakes up in the morning.
She lives alone.
Deeper into conversations she tells the stories. The great memories dear to her. Stories of my mother. Mirrored by today’s visit of her great grand-children. My brother’s girls.
I learn her real name. It’s not Nellie as everyone knows her.
Then she rattles off the Yugoslavian names for her five siblings. I should have had out the tape recorder. I’d never remember them!
Later in the kitchen I clean up. She admits everything needs to be at shoulder level now. No more reaching.
Then we collaborate on the baking in the kitchen when I was young.
More great memories.
For me, unraveled stories.

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