Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Suddenly and Inexplicably Missing Grandma and Grandpa

I wrote this poem a few years ago, before they died. I painted "Grandma's Pansy" in memory and in honor of Grandma, who loved pansies and was a modest but beautiful flower herself. You can see that painting if you go to and look on the "Flowers" page.

Gram and Gramp

Are in the nursing home
They share a room, a space, their last.
It’s been a good life overall,
Though it’s had its ups and downs.
Some think them lucky to have this time
If only they could feel it.

But Grandma often wonders
What good is a person, in there?
Who can’t be “useful?”
Can’t even make coffee
For frequent visitors
Like she once did?

And Grandpa gets depressed -
Cries –
Wants to go home
Wants to be anywhere but there.

And it’s hard to know
What to do, what to say.
I love you
I wish I could make it better.

But I don’t know how.


What “use” is anyone anyhow?
Ever? Really?

Though my life would have been diminished
Without the two of you in it

And home –
Seems to me to be
Wherever you are
As long as you are loved
And you are loved

I guess the thing to say is:

Start there, dear people
Start there.

You are loved.

And try to make your lives your own, even there
In that home.
Give life to your lives, if you can
Even there.

P.E. Ortman


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