Tell me that story again about the young girl and the horse (eager expression)
What story is that? (pale blue hazy eyes)
You know…about the black horse and the girl with the yellow braids. (expectant)
When did I tell you that story? (puzzled frown)
Years ago…when I was little.
I think that's a book…not a story…I must have read it to you.
No! You told me the story. I remember. (emphatic)
Then you tell me the story (gentle smile)
The girl had a black horse. The horse got sick. It died.
What a sad story.
No, it was wonderful. The way you told it. Wonderful.
How could it be wonderful when the horse dies? (frown)
But that's the point. Everyone…everything…dies.
Too sad. Not a happy story. (slight shaking of head)
It was happy. The girl loved the horse. He loved her.
Love hurts. (a sigh)
Yes, but it can be magical.
I wish I could remember telling you that story. How old were you? (quizzical frown)
I was eight or nine. It was at the old house.
Which house was that?
The old house. With the big living room. Remember the red sofa? (small pat on arthritic hand)
No. I don't remember that house or the sofa.
You loved that house. You never wanted to leave.
So why did I? (curiosity)
Everyone grew up. Moved away. The house was too big for you.
Imagine that. A house that's too big. (another soft sigh)
Not when we were growing up. It was perfect.
Everything is perfect for a little while. Then the perfection goes away. (slight head shake)
But the memories are there. The memories of what was perfect.
Everything goes away. Even the memories.
I wish you remembered the story. The girl and the horse had so many adventures. (a frown)
I'm sorry. I don't remember.
Didn't you used to have a horse?
No. I never had a horse.
You said you did. When you were little and living on Grandpa's farm.
My father never had a farm.
Grandpa's farm. Remember? The big barn? The huge pasture? The orchards? (insistence)
A farm? I don't recall a farm. (emphatic)
Tell me what you remember. From when you were little.
Oh, sweetheart, I was never little. I was never young. (soft smile, tender pat on youthful hand)
Everyone has to grow up. You start little and you grow up.
Seems to me, I was always old and tired. Old and tired. (resignation)
I'll get the photo albums. You'll remember when you see the photos. (hopeful)
Can we look at the photos later? I'm a little sleepy right now.(a yawn)
Of course. You have a rest. I'll be back later.
I'm sorry I didn't remember the story of the horse and the girl with the yellow braids.
It's okay, Grandma. You rest now. (a sweet kiss placed on a wrinkled cheek)
You get the albums and we'll look at them later, okay?
I'll get the albums while you have a nap.
Come back in an hour. Don't let me sleep past four. (checking clock on night table)
I won't. You go to sleep. I'll see you in a bit. (a soft sigh and a closing door)
ktn © 2013