She sits in the corner of her living room,
staring out the window.– She wipes her glasses,
then, her eyes, as they have begun to tear up.
She puts her glasses back on and looks down,
at the open photo album sitting on her lap.
“These are physical records of my memories,”
she said, speaking without looking up from the album.
“Your grandfather was kind of a collector,
he had a panoply of cars, watches, clothes,
you name it he had it, but me–
I liked the simpler things, the memories,
the experiences, and the photos of those experiences,
were enough for me, and so I took a photo
of the times I felt an emotion, positive or negative,
so on days like today, I’d be able to look at them and
remember the emotion, the feeling.
Your grandfather, when he lost his memory,
couldn’t remember that all these cars, watches, clothes
belonged to him. He couldn’t look upon these photos
and remember that this was us, at the flower shop,
when he bought three dozen roses, got down on one knee,
and told me, ‘unlike these flowers, my love will never wither,’
and then he asked me to be his forever.
In fact, the last time he sat with me to look at this album
he took his index finger and ran it over my face in the photo,
looked up at me and stroked my face so gently,
as if he had just discovered me for the first time,
and then he smiled at me, and I knew he’d never remember that day again,
and maybe, some day, I won’t be able to remember any of it either.
But you’ll look at it and see two lovers in a flower shop,
and you’ll come up with your own story for what happened that day,
and you’ll smile or frown or laugh or get angry,– doesn’t matter.
What’s important is this photo will have an emotion attached to it,
mine… yours… someone else’s…
and really, that’s all that matters.