Pressing on the bottle of anti-inflammatory cream,
I am collecting the relieving, transparent fluid in my palm.
I apply it on her ageing knees,
Her arms, her back,
Her hands –
She tells me, they too have started misbehaving
Sending flashes of pain and waves of paralysis,
She feels pins and needles as a warning and then…
Then she can’t move them.
That is the worst she says,
Not being in control, not knowing
When you body will stop working
And you will be stuck here
Lying on your back, inert,
Conscious – yet your brain is
Unable to process your will
All the way to your limbs.
She feels she has had
Enough – most of the time –
But she bears it all,
And sticks around,
Because we are there.
The phone rings – my mum’s caller ID –
I hand it to my grand mother.
My hands are all sticky.
She takes it and replies
She is all right. Her little physiotherapist is doing a brilliant job.
She is feeling lucky for once.
A smile and her teary eyes are bringing life back to her face.
Upon morning, I join her in the kitchen
She looks rested. She inquires about my night first,
But doesn’t await my answer, and quickly adds
She has not slept that soundly in ages.
Relief shows on her face – and gratitude.
She needed it. And so did I.
What a powerful thing, a grandmother’s loving smile
But not just that, knowing you are responsible for a happy face.
A happy moment in someone’s life.