Grandchildren,dogs and chocolate biscuits

 
In her dreams she is always lost. Awake she walks into the wardrobe looking for the way out in the dark. The flat is hot, she sleeps a lot. Sometimes when the three of us are talking her head lowers and her eyes close and for a few moments you think she has fallen asleep mid conversation, then she's back. People think she sleeps too much, they suspect she sleeps in the day when on her own. She lives alone. She likes dozing off, she doesn't have those dreams in her short naps. 

Life is all about little things to look forward to like chocolate biscuits in the afternoon, a bacon sandwich for tea, a favourite programme on the tv, Sunday dinner of roast chicken with the grandchildren and great grand child and family holidays. The holidays are why she must stay health that's  what she is in training for. All of those things are good but the best times are the quiet times just her and the two dogs, all three snuggled up together dozing on the settee. It's the closeness, the physical contact, the togetherness she likes so much and the way time just passes effortlessly in an otherwise arduous life. 

Suddenly the dogs jump up, baking loudly and excitedly they charge the window, they work themselves up into a savage frenzy, the little one snaps at the bigger one who snaps back. Someone has entered the court yard probably a delivery for one of the neighbours. She doesn't get up but speaks sharply to the dogs in the voice she doesn't get to use these days. She lets them know she is in charge and issues her commands. They obediently return, settle down and wait  to be stroked as a reward. They're not her dogs she is helping out by looking after them. She had a dog a long time ago, she loved that dog. When it died of old age the loss was such that she just couldn't go through that emptiness all over again with another dog.

Being very old is about the involuntary fart from the straining of getting out of a chair. Being very old is about great grand children, dogs and chocolate biscuits, it's about dozing off and wondering it you will be coming back.
 
Blair McPherson former director, author and blogger www.blairmcpherson.co.uk

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