My Gran has stood in the same spot waving goodbye to visitors for 40 years. It’s one of my oldest memories. I have a thousand versions of this. Leaning over the back of a car seat waving till She was totally out of sight. Or now, a wave, a double tap of the horn and a glance in my review mirror, wondering if this is the last time.
The neighbours have gone or changed, my parents have gone, yet still my 87 year old Gran defies change to become some strange datum in a desperately uncertain world.
The concrete slabs where she stands are slowly subsiding. She asks me if I can fix them. I always say yes but mean no. Her Alzheimer’s means this game keeps playing out. I can’t bring myself to remove this evidence of a family ritual as old as my life. I am in awe at the length of time she has lived, at what she has lived through. And that she has been there for me.
But I also feel that as I think this, I’m tempting fate. Reminding Death he has a door to knock and after he’s been… all I’ll have is this imprint.