Some Lines Witten while Sitting in the Atrium at Dartmouth (NH) Medical Center By Estelle Cade

I bought a hat the other day.
It was so cute, it fit so well;
It’s definitely you,
my friends all say. 

I bought some shoes the other day;
bright red, and so in style that
just to look at them
makes me smile.

Dressed up now,
from toes to head –
look at what’s next,
Old Age said.
There is a magic cloak for you
It comes in many colors.
Some will wear it gracefully –
(and then there are the others..) Continue reading

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Don’t Forget? by Estelle Cade

 

An appointment? A trip to – where?

Did I forget? What day is this?

Don’t forget – forget what?

We live by our calendars – little square by little square.

Pen and paper by the phone always.

“I have sticky notes all over my house,”

a friend confides to me.

“Yet,” she adds, “either I cannot read

what I wrote 

or cannot remember why I wrote it, so

who cares anyway?”

“I forgot” – remember those days?

The basic answer to so many questions

as one child or another stands before you

“Why didn’t you bring home your report card?

Why didn’t you give me the permission slip

last week that you need today?

Why didn’t you tell us that Parent’s Night is tonight –

and that you’d said I’d bake two dozen cupcakes?”

And on and on

Do you remember saying

“What if Dad forgot he had to go to work?

What if I forgot to pick you up after school?

Or conveniently forgot that dinner had to be cooked

tonight  – and every night, for heaven’s sake.”

It seems now that the “I forgot” in youth

somehow morphs into

“I can’t remember anything”

as we age 

and our children find it frustrating perhaps.

Might this be Divine Retribution?

The Shape of Things to Come by Lettice Randall

 I don’t really care the shape I’m in

I don’t really care that my hair is thin

I’ve got wrinkles on my face. Is that a crime?

It just means I’ve been here for a long, long time.

I could get a face lift and have a boob job done

But I don’t think that sounds like a lot of fun!

And if I had that face lift, I think all you’d see

Is the only one I’m fooling is most likely me!

Leaving by Estelle Cade

“Hmm – write about a leaving or a departure or some such – that’s a broad subject to be sure”, she thought. As a young person, I thought a lot about leaving – or others leaving. When my sister and I were young, we worried that our parents might die and we’d  have to go and live with our aunt and uncle. It wasn’t that we didn’t love them dearly and we knew they loved us in return – but – our aunt  had some very conservative ideas about how children should dress and act and we amused ourselves sometimes, dreaming up various scenarios on that theme. We’d laugh and laugh -and shudder a bit also. (Boring shoes and no lipstick seemed to feature in these visions.)

Later on, it seemed we all wanted to leave for something – we wanted to move on to the next grade, on to high school. In high school we dropped, changed, left, boyfriends, girlfriends, hobbies, activities; changed course subjects, even. Life seemed always to be fluid in some ways, although we never actually strayed far from the familiar. Teenagers talk a good game, but are less courageous than you’d think.

Adult life found us all moving on in various ways. The armed forces found many of my generation traveling to far places; we went off to college; married, “settled down” – and many of us never ventured too far from what we  knew as home territory. And now, she mused, I am older and find that I have never ‘left home’. Although I dreamed once upon a time of travelling to exotic places (I read the National Geographic Magazine all through my childhood) and have managed some trips to new places, I find that I am now the one left behind – or call me the ‘core’ person; the one who stays and is comfortable sending children out to their lives in the wider world. Although this particular apple never fell far from her New England tree (a Baldwin, perhaps?), it has produced sturdy branches in other places.

“And, she added – there is one leave-taking that will take place eventually, that affects everyone – and it’s one that no one wants to discuss – ever. No matter how practical and pragmatic one’s children may seem, talk of that final leaving they prefer to leave in limbo until they must face it. And we won’t be around to tell them how we want that last leaving to be carried out!”

Ode to Things Lost by Estelle Cade

Write about something lost, something found, our leader suggests. Late at night I think about that, and here’s what I get.

Ode to Things Lost
Some sort of Poem

Look in the mirror — I’ve lost my looks-
It doesn’t seem fair, as I grow older
I’m losing my hair.
Once my crowning glory, or so I was told,
Now I must arrange it
To cover the holes.
I’ve also grown — shorter, you see.
My grand-daughter exclaims, “Nanni-
You’re much shorter than me!”

I’ve lost both my parents, my one sister as well-
Now no one is left to whom I can tell
A story of “Googling” our homes from the past.
So pleasant to see they still look nice, to see they could last.

Old friends — they are lost too.
Gone many years now; no sense feeling blue.
New friends have been made, important, we knew-
To laugh and share stories – -they’ve lost a lot too.

With age come some wisdom; some sayings we knew-
Let go, let God; don’t cling to the past.
Plan to enjoy each day to the last. And this is our mantra — we say it-
It’s true-
We look at each other and shrug-
“well, what are you going to do?”

Oh yes, “the children”-we still have
the children — perhaps ‘Grands’ and ‘Great Grands’
And families (not shattered) are scattered
all over the land.
E-mails and Facebook now replace phone calls-
And as for visits — do they really matter?
We say it does, that a visit is better.
To them — it’s time to send another e-mail letter.

Here’s a thought from a book I’ve just finished reading.
A woman is reflecting to herself that when her husband died
she’d gone from being the Matriarch of the family to being
the elderly mother who must be checked up on by ‘the children’.

How true — and that is the greatest loss of all.