Her life. She had such a life. All centered on her children. Now. Had been different. Career. Charity work. Volunteering at the Guild and the Food Bank, delivering meals to shut-ins, meeting with the garden club and the book club.
All gone with her macular degeneration. Reducing her life to her children. No, her grandchildren. She and her daughter ‘did not get along’. Saw politics differently. Education. Fashion. Manners. Daughter blamed her for – “Whatever,” she usually explained, too limp to delve deeper into words and emotions, too worn to extricate and untangle the relationship to the satisfaction of anyone outside of it.
The grandchildren, though – twins. He, dyslexic. Energetic. Masculine but wary. She, in the forefront. Quick-minded, always watching, pausing to see. Cowboy boots – red – and sparkling tutus. She, ordering him on what to do, when to do it. How. Correcting him. He, obeying, sometimes with frustration, which the girl child – they were only eight, miniature people, perfect little unblemished slender human replicas – soothed with whispers and touches. She could not see their future. That worried her.
Then him. His life. No life. Writing. Living to write. Brooding, apparently writing in his head. Reading. Walking around, sipping coffee, staring at walls, floors, windows, always there but never there. Her son. She could no longer connect with him at all. He was a house that couldn’t be entered. Curtains on the windows. No doors in nor out.
Phone rang with an old-fashioned tinny sound reminding her of the happy times at her grandmother’s home. Her daughter was calling. She didn’t want to answer. Probably about money. Usually was, when she called. She put a smile into her voice. Shook off her weariness. Must not upset the princess lest she cut off access to the grandchildren. But she would not do that, would she?
Not a chance to be taken. “Hello, honey,” she said, fake happiness in her voice, pressing forward with her life.