Posts

Showing posts from April, 2022

Queen Me

Image
I haven ’ t lived in England for years and years. And years. Basically a very long time. The kind of time you cough into your hand over, trying to hide the exact humungous number of years. Long enough ago that any reasonable person could be forgiven for calling me an American. But beware, should you say anything negative about the UK or Queen Elizabeth, my British roots will start showing and my British blood will start boiling. I ’ ll start flapping my British passport in the air, and put on my best True Brit voice. While I ’ m very much an American, I ’ m British by birth, born in 1953, in —as I ’ m fond of saying and saying—a scene right out of Call the Midwife. I ’ ve got a thing for the Queen from being born so close to her coronation day that my parents gave me Elizabeth for my middle name. Just a few days shy of being named Elizabeth Simone instead of the other way around. A few days days shy of being a Liz versus a Sim. Liz, Lizzie. I don ’ t mind the sound of that.

An Undying Love ... just an old love story.

Image
You know those couples who say they can’t live without each other? What if it was true.  Undying Love The coleus under Bob and Helen’s front porch window are looking a little scraggly, nothing but tall leggy stems bending in their bed of dry cracked earth. I think how the gardener wouldn’t let them go like that if Bob hadn’t been so sick. If he’d been up and around, those plants would be standing tall, their leaves firm and perky, the ground blanketed with a soft, moist layer of mulch. Well tended, that was the best way to describe Bob’s garden, and come to think of it, Bob too. I try to remember if I even saw the gardener this past Wednesday, his usual day to come mow and blow. After all, who will notice if Bob’s plants die now? Not Bob while he’s sick in bed. Not Helen who uses a walker and rarely ventures outside. Bob told me once Helen wouldn’t allow him to get her a wheel chair, she couldn’t stand the idea of looking like an invalid. That sounds like Helen, the kind of

My Mother’s Voice

Image
Alzheimer’s being the conniving thieving bitch that  it is, my mother wasn’t herself in the final years of her life. The  woman I visited in the Alzheimer’s special care unit was a stranger wearing my mother’s skin but not much else, like the invasion of the body snatchers had taken place, month after month beneath the surface, until one day we looked and the woman we knew was gone, replaced by some alien being. An imposter. Intruder alert. Intruder alert. She died on Friday the 13th in 2012. My real mother —not the stranger in a wheel chair, head nodding on her shoulder—Enid Maude Good nee Hayden,  was British-born and had a lovely London lilt to her voice her whole life even though she left England in the mid-1950’s. I suppose at thirty, her vocal patterns were already frozen in place.  Sounding like a cross between Deborah Kerr and Judi Dench, there was something warm and welcoming, layered with a cool crispness, in her voice. She charmed everyone I ever knew when she called