Her spidery handwriting spills across the stained page like the meandering tracks of a small creature lost in the wilderness. As a metaphor, it’s the perfect representation of her state of mind, thoughts scattered, unconnected, incomplete. She’s trying to write her memoirs, a reminder to her daughter of all the life-lessons she wants to bequeath to her, the history of her life to this point and everything she wants to say but never did. Never will.
In the confusion of her mind, her daughter is still unborn. Her left hand rests gently on her abdomen, cradling a baby who hasn’t resided there for over sixty years. Her child is gone, but she doesn’t remember. Her mind is gone too, mostly, though there are blessings in that. She doesn’t remember the night they came to her door, forty years before, to tell her about the overdose. The party she wasn’t told about, the friends she wouldn’t accept – they were the reason her child was dead. For decades, she’s held onto a hatred which served no purpose. It’s been said that holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. For years, she held that poison as close as a lover, but now…oh, now it’s gone. Yes, it is a blessing.
The stroke took her suddenly. She’s lost an essential piece of herself. Childlike, she doesn’t remember the pain, she doesn’t remember the loss. She doesn’t remember the hatred. She has no sense of time passing – another blessing. The weakness of her ancient body she puts down to a temporary illness, a flu of some kind. We had to take down all the mirrors last week. She gets agitated if she sees her reflection, doesn’t understand the lines on her ancient face. After all, she’s still young and beautiful, so who is that wrinkled old lady in the mirror?
The doctors said another stroke is imminent. It could happen any day. The threads of her life will soon be cut and it will be up to others to remember for her. Still, she tries. She’s writing her memoirs and advice to her unborn child.
Such a pity no-one will ever decipher it.
A recovering artist, Bev Hanna began writing as a mental stimulus and a distraction to keep from going mad as a caregiver, happily penning an urban fantasy novel until she hit 50,000 words, when came to the reluctant conclusion that she didn’t have a clue what she was doing. Bev then began to research and develop the skills of creative writing, and since that time, has written innumerable fiction pieces and founded Write On The Bay, a community of writers in the Southern Georgian Bay region. The novel, sadly, remains unfinished, but her library of books on how to write now fills three floor-to-ceiling bookcases.