Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Friday, January 23, 2004 11:28 pm

The outer darkness

Filed under: Love — Lex @ 11:28 pm

C. over at Witt and Wisdom has a sad post up about Alzheimer’s and how it affected a relative of his.

It’s been years since my grandmother recognized me, although she doesn’t have Alzheimer’s — she’s just old. Turned 96 this week. Two and a half years ago, not long after our son was born, we went to visit her at her nursing home. It was a warm day, and we sat outside in a little gazebo. She asked if she could hold my son, so I held him in her lap (she uses a wheelchair and has pretty much lost the use of her left arm). She didn’t really know me anymore and, of course, was seeing her new great-grandson for the first time, but she started singing, in a low but clear Charleston voice, the same song she had sung to me more than 40 years ago, and to my mother decades before that …

“Br’er Rabbit is a cunning thing
He rambles in the dark
Never knows what danger is
‘Til he hears ol’ Rover bark.
Big-eyed Br’er Rabbit boo, boy …
Big-eyed Brer Rabbit boo … “

It took my breath away. Thinking about it now still does. And if there’s any grace I’ll take away from watching her slow slide toward death, it’s watching this woman who was vigorous enough in her 80s to join bridesmaids 60 years her junior in dancing at my wedding spending one of the last warm afternoons of her life surrounded by loving family and carrying on a tradition that bridges generations.

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: