Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Bright Smiles, Big Hugs: Flash Non-Fiction



I punch a code into a keypad and hear a faint click. A moment later I’m walking through a cheerful hallway. The walls are painted with flowers and butterflies. I enter a room with artwork decorating the walls. Careful coloring that stays within the lines—mostly.

My gaze scans the room. A few bright smiles beam up at me. I wave and smile back and their eyes light up.

“You’re here!”

I turn and see the beautiful face I’d been looking for. She holds out her arms and I give her a big hug. Someone else wanders up and wants a hug, too. Her eager smile tugs at my heart, and I give her a big hug of her own. Across the room, a woman with an I.D. badge locks gazes with me. The woman smiles.

The small arms hold me close. “Have you seen Trisha?” she asks, looking up at me.

“I haven’t,” I say, releasing our hug. She hangs on to my arm, and I give her hand a reassuring squeeze. “Maybe she’ll come another day.”

“She said she was coming.” Her eyes are hopeful. “Did she come with you?”

The woman with the I.D. badge approaches. She shakes her head. “Poor thing. Trisha is her daughter. But, she hasn’t had a visitor in four years.”

My heart constricts as the worker guides her away with a promise of juice and cookies. My grandma takes my hand. I hold it, tight.

“It’s pretty here,” my grandma says as we sit beneath the shade of a large, willowy tree. “You are very pretty, too.” 

She touches my cheek and I smile for her. “Do you like it here?” I ask.

“Yes. The food is fantastic.” She still has my hand. I don’t let go. My grandma's eyes become puzzled. “What is your name?” she asks.

“I’m Diana.” I say this cheerfully, but I hold my breath.

“Of course! She laughs. Diana. You are my granddaughter. I was only joking. My Alzheimer's isn't that bad, yet.”

I smile. She is having a good day. We talk about things and walk around. She shows me off and I give many more hugs.

You will visit me again, won’t you? she asks as I prepare to leave.

“Of course, I say.I love you, and I love seeing you.”

She doesn’t let go of my hand. 

The worker steps up with a smile. “There you are! I saved some juice for you. I think there are a few cookies left, too.”

I exhale as my grandma lets go. She waves at me through the window in the door. Trisha's mother is there too. I wave back at the both of them.

The next day I punch a code into a keypad and hear a faint click. A moment later I’m walking through a cheerful hallway. The walls are painted with flowers and butterflies. I enter a room with artwork decorating the walls. Careful coloring that stays within the lines—mostly.

My gaze scans the room. A few bright smiles beam up at me. I wave and smile back and their eyes light up.

“You’re here!”

I turn and see the beautiful face I’d been looking for. “Hi buddy,” I say, as my four-year-old son holds out his arms and I give him a big hug. “Let’s go visit great-grandma today.”

~ ~ ~

Trisha's name is a changed name

8 comments:

  1. Oh my! Lovely in its depth and the real painting of the full circle nature of life. Beautifully written, Diana.

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    1. Thank you so much, Liza! I appreciate that. :)

      Visiting my grandma has been teaching me a lot about life, and the full circle nature of it. I feel lucky that she's close-by. <3

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  2. Beautiful and heart-rending. So many hugs and all the love. <3 Your grandmother is so lucky to have you.

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    1. So many hugs and all the love right back. <3 You've been amazing to me these past few weeks, even while you've been going through your own sad times, too. I don't know what I'd do without you!

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  3. You're making me cry. That was beautifully written, hun. It might be my favourite piece that you've ever done. ♥

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    1. Wow, Nat, that means a lot. Thank you. :)

      <3 <3

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  4. HUGS to you and your gramma! A very hard situation, told so beautifully. Hang in there...

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    1. Hugs back, and thank you for this. I'm trying to stay positive and do what I can to make her happy, but I'll never be able to repay what she's done for me in my life.

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