Fading Into Focus

Fading Into Focus

Last week I saw my almost 90 year old grandmother again for the first time in six years.  Somehow the combination of two states of distance and time kept us apart.  I didn’t go to her and she didn’t come to me.  On my side, it was a new house and a baby and a full time job that got in the way.  On her side it was age: lessening mobility and autonomy and finally a move into assisted living.   But now she’s closer, just having been moved into a memory care facility in the town where I grew up, where my parents still live.  I’m grateful for that, despite the circumstances.

But she’s still grandma.  Maybe she doesn’t quite put memories together like she wants to and gets confused more easily, but at her essence, she’s the same woman who I’ve known all my life.   As with all the residents at her new home, her memories come and go and get mixed up.  Some are gone, some might return and others might leave.  But as the memories shift and even if they continue to fade, other things come into focus.  And for now, that’s enough.

memories fade into focus
as soft wind sweeps
across her forehead

wind blowing through doorways
into the spaces behind thoughts,
deep wells into the presence
that always lingers

presence that persists
beyond our understanding,
beckoning to eternity

listening for the essence that flows through her

essence that is constant,
unwavering as the springs of winters past
and the scent of spring lilies
refuse to run dry, even

when wrinkled skin,
lined hands and feet
tell the tale of life, lived.

living still
always to be

memories fading into focus