i just came off the phone to granny . as i put the receiver down my face dropped from its cheerful reassuring countenance and i held my hand over my mouth . tears welled up in my eyes but not enough to fall . my diaghram tightened against my heart .
i feel a mixture of love , pain and helplessness . her memory and eyesight have started deteriorating quite rapidly and i know she is finding it agony . a package arrived from her today containing a big black jersey , the last she will make . all my life i have been surrounded by woollens of hers . jerseys , gloves , socks , toys . this last one was a struggle . she had already said she would not make any more but i asked her in december , knowing she would not refuse me . perhaps it was selfish , but i felt such a need for a proper full stop . it is a fine garment , thick , close fitting , with a high zipped collar . i picked out the soft merino wool myself and sent it to her in shropshire .
her other great crafts have been gardening and flower arranging . she has a remarkable sense of composition . a great gift .
all these things i took for granted most of my life , as one does .
i have strong enough relationships with several elderly friends that i have some glimpse of the suffering they endure . the progressive loss of competences and , most painfully , self . how many have grasped me , looked me straight in the eye and said < old age is terrible > . and i impotent even to reassure , for what honest comfort can i offer when i sense the darkness they endure ?
i try at least to fight against this wretched society’s dismissal of their opinion , all they have left to offer at the end . how mean to value this so low , to tolerate them as worthless burdens . we are sick .