Milk and Cookies for Grandma
I spent so many years
making sure that your needs were met;
many times, ignoring things that I needed.
You were old and those that are aging
have less time to enjoy their days,
while the younger can wait.
Sometimes when I came home from work,
stressed and tired,
I had to take the time to read for you
some unimportant form
which you had just received in the mail.
You thought it was important.
Another symptom of the aged;
Nothing is trivial.
Everything has a sense of urgency.
And oh, those Vienna Fingers cookies were always
the first item on my shopping list.
They were your favorite.
I had to make sure that my little daughter
was not dipping her hand into the cookie jar,
so as to not upset you.
I never understood how you could drink
that flavorless Carnation milk,
the one you made from the powder.
But I made sure, it was always there for you.
When you talked about how great others were,
because you received a card or a phone call,
I also knew how you feared illness and death,
so I was glad that you were unaware
that the end was so near.
You had so much life and energy.
It did not seem fair to end your life,
before your life really ended.
I sat through many sleepless nights
next to your bed because
you did not want to be alone.
Every morning I would wake up
and quietly go to your room,
trying not to wake you.
I would stare closely
to see if your chest was still moving.
Before you took that final last breath
and closed your eyes for eternal sleep,
you asked me if I loved you.
I stood speechless.
For once, I did not understand.
I wanted to talk to you about
how I always made sure
that you had the cookies and milk
that you loved so much,
but I didn't say anything.
I only held back the tears that choked me
and made me unable to utter a sound.
After many years, I think I understand.
I do not blame you for your nearsighted vision
that prevented you from seeing.
I hope you do not blame me
for my inability to speak,
when I should have spoken.
We, as humans, have so many imperfections.
I imagine that now you
are enjoying those heavenly cookies.
Tonight, in my prayers
I will remind the angels
that Vienna Fingers are your favorite.