i lived here since the 50's. there used to be not just me, but a whole battery of husband and five kids; neighbours and friends; aunts, cousins and uncles. this flat used to be the happening of this neighbourhood- we were the first ones to have a TV so imagine the gatherings when it was football-time.
i used to be a real powerhouse. my kids called me "the nuclear station" as i had tremendous amounts of energy. i used to cook, clean, sew, entertain, bake amazing cakes and cookies, and host grand slam parties and dinners. during christmas and new years, this was the hot spot for all the family- around 30 folks used to dance around the christmas tree; snaking around the whole flat like a loud chain of drunken midgets, huffing and puffing, laughing and bantering.
i used to be the center of our family; feeding it and holding it together. i was the matriarch of this family.
today i am almost 95 years old. each day is a question mark; will it be the last? will i wake up tomorrow morning again, now that i go to bed, and another day has passed? why was i chosen to live this many years? why me?
it would be ok, had i been able to cook, clean, sew and have dinner-parties. but i can't. i have pain everwhere. i cannot walk very far. my legs hurt me when i walk. i cannot cook, because when i taste the food, i taste nothing, and i spill things everywhere. i cannot sew, because my fingers won't do what i want them to do. and worst of all, i cannot socialise, because i cannot hear what they say. it is all a big murmur.
i feel alone in what used to be my life. i live inside the same walls, where nothing has changed, except me. i have changed, i am merely a shadow of my former self, but my soul lives inside me, intact, and it feels like a prisoner. my soul tries to recreate the life i used to have; when i have family over, it tries to be part of the family feeling, and i try to be the way i used to be, but i can see by the reactions of my sons and daughters and grandchildren that i make mistakes and say things that are completely out of sorts. That makes me feel so stupid and powerless, as i used to be the authority around here. i used to change their diapers and wipe their tears, goddammit!
and i wait. i sit there, with the silence, and i wait. no radio or TV can entertain me or help me pass the time anymore, as i don't hear what they say, and i cannot follow a TV-show. it moves too fast for me. i sit there, embedded in the silence, and long for my life as it used to be.
and i go to bed, wondering if i will wake up tomorrow morning. will i have yet another day of trying to recreate the life i once lived?