My Nana developed Alzheimer's in her later years and has slipped away into memories, away from here and now, shopping and cooking, looking for the morning paper, darning a sock. I haven't seen her for a while as she is in a care-home in Ireland, but I hear she is well, talking about the old days, remembering no-one, not even her own son, my Uncle Kevin, who gathered her up when my Grandfather died and took her to the safety of his home in Dublin, tumbling about with cousins and life.
He emailed me asking for photos of our faces, to help Nana remember. Faces to show her, hoping for a spark to ignite the box of match memories and generate a little warmth behind the veil of absence. She is a giggler my Nana, a girl in an old woman's body. I remember her with a pot of tea, always a pot of tea - aluminium as it happens - offering to hot up your cup and pass you a slice of cake. Now without a care in the world, with nobody to comfort and darn for, she passes the moments as they float in and out, motes and grass seeds to grasp for. Maybe she will catch some if I send those photographs of our smiling faces. I wish I had gathered more seeds when she had them to tell.
I look at her gorgeous smile and wonder that she was ever so young.