THE SLOW FORGET. IN COLOR.
c. J.lynn Sheridan 2014
The autumn leaves whirl in the center of the streets.
We’re taking her for a Wednesday drive around town to
see the Autumn colors. She says they are pretty.
It’s warm for October but she’s bundled in her winter
coat, buckled in the back seat licking her chocolate ice cream.
She’s hasn’t been away from home in weeks and she
seems nervous asking question after question wondering
where we are, asking whose ice cream she is holding.
My daughter and I smile and tell her it’s hers. She is surprised.
Then asks us whose ice cream she is holding. We tell her
again. She smiles and says oh, you did say that, didn’t you?
This is the slow forget that teaches us to be sweet-natured.
We had driven down to see her after lunch and were surprised
to find her still in her jammies and robe at one-thirty in the
afternoon. It is now three-thirty. It had taken her two hours
to get dressed. She kept forgetting what she was doing.
I think she’s wearing the same thing she wore yesterday–
jeans and a thirty-year-old sweatshirt, but that’s okay.
This is the slow forget that teaches us patience.
While waiting for her to dress, we cut up veggies for a pot
of vegetable soup and then baked a butternut squash. These
are the things she cannot do any more. She doesn’t remember
how to finish. Or start. We wait some more.
This is the slow forget that teaches us kindness.
We try not to rush her. We just keep reminding her to change.
When she’s ready, we brush her thin dry hair and tell her
she is beautiful.
This is the slow forget that teaches us gentleness.
The school buses are beginning to clog the intersections.
The kids are skipping in the leaves. She asks about the
ice cream dripping down her hand. We tell her again that
it is hers and it’s okay for her to eat it. She is trying to save it
for some reason. Back home she shivers and says it’s so cold
outside and then asks us whose ice cream she is carrying.
When we tell her, she looks at us funny then puts it into the
freezer and says, I don’t know where it came from.
This is the slow forget that teaches us love.