As I lay here in this blue and white world, the smell of hospital disinfectant fills my nostrils and pinches the back of my throat. All I see are blue and white floors, and blue and white curtains, filled with blue and white soldiers flitting from here to there; they are all running around too quickly to stop and smile…As I eat another tasteless dinner, my ears cringe at the harsh sound of clashing trays being collected by the blue apron brigade
Then; in my mind’s eye, I’m arriving home after work…I see you turn around at the sound of my feet on the linoleum…You always had a smile for me, no matter what the day bought you personally. I never stopped to wonder why sometimes, it didn’t creep up into your eyes
There is much time to take stock of my surroundings in here, and it has been this lengthened time with my senses, that’s lead me back to you
As I lie down at night now, I think of all the mornings of my life, when I woke up to find your arms around me, and your cold toes tickling the soles of my feet
All those mornings I forgot to realise how much I adored the smell of your hair…I asked the nurse if there was any chance of me spiking the mop bucket with coconut conditioner; she laughed, a little bemused. She didn’t understand why I’d asked, but we shared a smile anyway, ‘cos just asking took me back to our bed and your wild head of curly hair sprawling across the pillow. Please promise me you’ll use that brand of conditioner forever.
Out of the corner of my eye I see a nurse dressed in…yep, you’ve guessed it…more blue, and I suddenly remember the soft pink and yellow of ‘that’ dress; the one you call your ‘Sunday Best’…My favorite thing about Sundays, much to my surprise, turns out to be your yellow and pink dress.
It’s 6 o’clock and I taste the baby food dinner that lies on a tray in my lap, and it isn’t long before my taste takes me back to you…I’m sorry I never stopped to see the love in the dinners you cooked for the last 40 years. What I wouldn’t give for one of your beef mince treats right now, doesn’t bear thinking about
I even find myself longing for some of those awful stringy beans you insisted on growing each summer
I hear the lady in the apron ask Rita if she’s finished with her meal…she replied ‘I was finished with that old tripe after one mouthful’…I laugh and make a mental note to ask you to bring double tomorrow, so Rita can remember what good food tastes like, before she passes from this world to the next
As the dinner lady moves onto the next row of beds, everything is once again quiet and I’m taken back to the memory of your terrible singing. I used to curse those dulcet tones when I came home from work with the paper. Tired and needing to wind down, the newspaper was always my priority. How foolish of me…I would trade the paper a thousand times over; for one last chance to come home from work to hear you ‘murdering’ Patsy Cline whilst peeling the spuds!
If I could live my time again, I swear I’d have written you a letter every day, telling you how much I appreciate all the little things you say and do
Life is odd! I have spent the last 40 years with you. Everyday I have seen you, smelt you, felt you, heard you, touched you…But it has taken a month of being ‘without you’, to realise just how wonderful you’ve been to me
You are my joy, you are my favourite smell. I don’t want to see anymore, if I can’t see you. Just you. I have even come to love your tone-deaf singing, almost as much as the sight of you in that beautiful dress…
You have carried me for a lifetime, you are the fuel for my senses, and you are my favourite landmark. I know it won’t be long ’til this withered body of mine dies. Then I will have no senses, no eyes or ears to see and hear you with…but I’ve learnt that losing my body doesn’t matter anymore. You will have my heart forever, and it’s my heart that seems to have stored what my senses almost missed
Forgive me for not showing you all this before now
Forgive me for not showing ‘the wonder of you’ – to you…