The Object of Pursuit of an Inner-Saboteur

14/03/2010

“Hearing a Piano”

The summer was well and truly over. Most of the residents of the Sunnyside Residential Home gathered in the main lounge to get their share of the heat coming from the fireplace. There was a sense of nostalgia in the air and everyone appeared to have succumbed to it.

            Grace was sitting near the window in her brown recliner chair. She was staring at the colourful falling leaves, the children splashing in the rain puddles and the people on the other side of the road, who shared the same resigned expression, waiting for the crowded buses to take them home.  If you could see Grace’s face now you would notice that her mind was far away. Only her frail body was still here, hiding under the lapghan blanket. She seemed completely unaware of the church bells ringing for the Angelus prayer.

            Had she been able to speak she would tell you that he was now playing her favourite piano piece: Chopin’s “Grande Valse Brilliante”. She could see him sitting on a wooden stool wearing one of his elegant cardigans and his suede house slippers. He was utterly lost in music.

Alzheimer’s has affected her ability to speak and walk. She was no longer able to dress herself and her delicate silk dresses hang purposelessly in her wardrobe, as useless as the numerous items of jewellery and colourful head scarves. Losing Theo has affected her heart and soul, her ability to live the rest of her life. She cried herself to sleep every night, shivering from cold and loneliness in her unfamiliar and bare room. During the day she managed to escape to a place where lilac’s sweet aroma carried a promise of summer and joy, and where her beloved husband still played her favourite Chopin Waltzes.

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