The Heart Remembers
I find you sitting in your favourite armchair by the bay window. I follow your gaze to the well-manicured lawn and flower beds budding into life. Are you remembering our garden? How much you loved it?
Would today bring some sign of recognition? They are so much fewer now.
I scan the room for Michael, but he’s not here. I know it’s for the best but it doesn’t prevent a stab of disappointment.
Is it fate that brings two people together? The visitor’s lounge was busier than usual that day I met Michael; the only available seat was at his table. Coffee in hand, I remember feeling apprehensive as I approached, unsure how well I’d be received. Visitors didn’t always welcome company. But his smile was warm and uplifting somehow.
It wasn’t long before we were seeking each other out, our chats becoming more regular. I learned his wife, Joanne, had been admitted to the home a year before Tim, my husband. And what began as small talk slowly developed into more meaningful conversation. It was a relief to be able to share my innermost thoughts and feelings without fear of being judged.
Maybe it was inevitable that chats should become dates and friendship something more. Suddenly life wasn’t quite so grey and lonely anymore; sunlight had filtered in.
But the places we find happiness don’t always bring contentment. Being with Michael may have made life easier but visiting Tim became so much harder.
You smile, as I sit down beside you. Tentatively, I reach for your hand. But hope quickly turns to desolation as I watch your expression change to confusion and you pull away.
We sit in silence sharing your favourite toffees. Later, I’ll initiate some level of conversation. It’s a routine we’ve fallen into – one that imparts a sense of calm.
My thoughts return to Michael. Although on the same journey, we were at different stages. And although I miss him, I miss you so much more.
It’s then I hear you say my name. Our eyes lock and time becomes suspended.
While the heart remembers.