Laughing In The Morning

Our matriarch, the impish Granma Grace, has not had the best of times, of late.
A succession of hospital stays, a succession of strokes and falls - it has taken its toll on us all.
My sister-in-law has given up her job to care for her mother, and keep her cosy in her own home where she wants to stay. Mr takes over once a week to ease his sister’s work, and to spend time with the lady who has done so much for her children and her grandchildren and still won’t stop apologising that she can’t cook us all a feast these days.

‘I’d give up,’ she sighs, ‘but I’m too nosy, I want to see how everyone turns out!’
This is a good sentence.

She gets her words muddled, especially when tired, and some of them come out unintentionally inappropriate, some fantastically creative, burbling like a hillside brook, clear in meaning to us - because we know this scenery, this beautiful bonkers place of Grace.
We even pick up words. Paramacetameter is good for headaches, did you know?
Or Cerebatolamol.

It frustrates her, of course, but she also says that she knows big words, big fancy words, and nods smug, and then her grin turns into laughing.
Laughing is a human duty to her.

Her home is in a fine location for walking. Wide flat pathways edge river and canal, the water hosts swans, geese, ducks, gulls, cormorants, and kingfishers. 

Post storms, flood defences are churning.
A ladder floats by, torn from a mooring. Swans turn their bottoms up, where the water runs dark and flat. This morning there is a moon, a waning gibbous moon, keeping company with the sun.
Light skims the deep, makes a continuum of crystals in the overflow.

Down the path we walk, Dog jumps to swim alongside, the sun makes us squint.
Other people walk towards us.
Grace says, ‘Good morning,’ to them all.
And if they don’t respond she says, so clearly, ‘Well I think it is!’
There’s no duty in our laughing then. 


She sounds like a wonderful spirit. I love her line about being too nosy.
Chicken said…
Hi Lisa, thank you for visiting Chicken's Consigliere. Your matriarch seems as lovely as her name and it's lovely that you all are working together to keep her where she wants to be. I get my words jumbled all the time, even when I'm not tired. It should be interesting by the time I get to Grace's age. I'll be speaking another language, I suspect.
What a lovely tribute to what sounds like a lovely feisty woman. I concur with her comment about being too nosy to want to die just yet. :)

I've nearly finished your book about Anya. Brilliant writing, my dear! :)
Lisa Southard said…
She is a wonderful spirit! I'm glad she's too nosy.
I wish we owned a house so we could move her in, our rented place is too cold and inaccessible for her. (We are looking, but nothing in budget as yet.)
Lisa Southard said…
Hello Chicken, it was a lovely visit :-)
Pretty sure the upside of old age is doing whatever you want, including speaking your own personal language.
We'll just call that a creative overspill :-)
Lisa Southard said…
One always does want to know how everyone turns out - your baker's dozen must give you plenty to ponder!
And thank you lots for reading Small Histories, glad you are enjoying it - would love to know what you think of the whole of it.
I have set myself the task of reviewing Hot Flashes by the end of January, and so far my lists are going to plan :-)
Geo. said…
I have tried, over a week, to respond to this beautiful post --to comment-- but something keeps getting in my eye --memories,I think. Grace is well-named. Strength and best wishes to you all.
Lisa Southard said…
Splendid memories, I don't doubt. Holding moments that remind us of the joy in life, that is the joy of writing. Strength and best wishes reciprocated :-) xx

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