Sadie’s Song

I don’t like too much gravy you know kills the taste of the food it does.. she always did that even though we all said not to it’s funny the things you remember eh? She sang you know but nobody remembers her for that.. she’s the gravy lady.

She loved all them cooking programmes on the telly the galloping whats name and the other bloke Floyd.. said he was her darling.. don’t know what she saw in him he always looked pissed to me.. she said that she wouldn’t mind him coming round for tea some time.. it was disgusting he was half her age and her a widow an all still fat chance of him coming round for a quick scoop eh? We used to wind her up.. tell her that Floyd was coming to open a local supermarket and would she like to go.. fell for it every time.. plum forgot that we’d done the same trick the week before.. well you can do that with someone with dementia can’t you? one of the few pleasures left I’d say.. anyway we were never nasty to her.. it was all in good fun. Sometimes I even thought that she got the joke but then all of a sudden she’d have the dawn of it wiped off her face and it replaced with her usual blank expression.

Later she’d say out of the blue and in no connection with anything.. I met him you know.. we’d ask who and she’d say Keith that’s who – Keith Floyd.. my husband and me were on a trip to the Italian lakes and he was staying in the same complex.. my Bill got chatting to him in the bar and he invited us onto a swanky motor boat for some lunch.. said it wasn’t his but maybe a friends or something.. said she got to know Floyd quite well. We smiled at each other and gave out the oohs and the aahs in all the right places but we couldn’t help sniggering and then we’d have to pretend that we were laughing at something from the telly.. she never did see it.

She went on like that for some time until slowly our little crowd dwindled as each passed away.. it was only a matter of time I suppose.. one day she didn’t get up with the rest of us and a few days went by and she was gone.

The staff in here are quite good in that way.. well they’ve had lots of practice see.. they let people in to see folks that have gone just to pay last respects and that.. well me and a couple of chums went in to see her.. she looked right pretty in her coffin.. peaceful.. prettier than real life really with all the pain gone. Each of us kissed her forehead and said our goodbyes then we took a look at the cards on the bedside table and the bunches of flowers that the staff had put into vases.. we looked over to the window and spotted a large bouquet tied up with a gold ribbon and there was a little card lying beside it.. I picked it up and read it to the others: for Sadie who brightened up my Italian vacations – love K.



prose © copyright Brian Shirra 2011

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