When is all said that could have been said?
I still wonder
What else is there left for me to say
That could still have profound meaning.
When is all done that could have been done
I still wonder
What else is there left for me to do
That could possibly have any meaning whatsoever to you
And so I've come to realize
All that is left now
is just the little things
So little that it would bear no significance to another
whose life has not become so small
yet so devastatingly all-consuming.
I take great delight when I know
you hear me coming down the passage
And we start singing Hallo Dolly to each other
before I come around the corner
and I see your eyes light up.
Your leg does that little shake
as you take your deepest shallow breath
to belt out in your loudest shlurry husky whisper
'YOU'RE LOOKING SWELL DOLLY'
'YOU CAN TELL DOLLY'
YOU'RE STILL GOING,
YOU'RE STILL GO -HING STRONG'.
You've given up when I've left red lipstick kisses on your forehead
and surrender to a shriek when I give you farty kisses in your neck when I leave
You tell me you're still in charge and now have the rank of Commandant
I tell you sorry doll - I got promoted too - and Colonel calls the shots.
I have some wine in a lovely glass
you a whisky in your dedicated blue sip cup with a spout
I take sips of wine and hold the sip cup to your mouth
I say cheers Sissi
and you say cheers Sissi - dis 'n lekker dop (this is a lovely drink).
That's the sort of way things are most of the time now. Love in the little things. However, now and then there's that something bigger than the usual little things. Like earlier this week,
Monday turned out to be rather a special one and I know Sonja would have loved to have written about it herself. But, if you've been following the blog, you know that she now only has very limited movement with her one hand and typing just about impossible. She asked me to come over as two friends were coming to give her a recital - with a clarinet and piano. I will relate the story in a similar format as to what I wrote it on her facebook wall - which was in Afrikaans.
Today was one of those extraordinary and rare days, wasn't it? When I received your email the other day (IN EXTRA LARGE PRINT - SO YOU CAN SEE IT BETTER) - and asked me join you because Lara and Morne will be coming to do a music recital and will I please take a video clip - I said yes of course. With just one word - OK - so that you could read it easy. The people that love you deserve to hear about this special day, and I know how you would have loved to have been telling them yourself - but now you can't any more.
I'm so happy that Loubser (Sonja's son) removed all the extra paraphernalia out of Chris' (Sonja's other son) room where the piano stands and swung the bed sideways so that we could try and get you into this room with that huge rolls royce of a wheelchair of yours. The room looked lovely and so much more spacious.
When I got there we sang our usual Hallo Dolly to each other - you with your slightly shlurry soft voice and me with my false notes. You looked so lovely in your pink outfit today. I know how long it takes for the carer to shower, wash your hair, dress, do your make up and dry your hair before you feel pretty enough to face guests. Your lips were hopelessly to pale and I remedied that with my own very bright red lipstick.
It was quite a battle to get you into that room, wasn't it, with me holding my breath and pulling in my stomach (as if that would help) and my gammy knee. I was tugging and tugging at your rolls royce of a chair and Lillian the carer was shoving the other end. But we got you in eventually. Nicely parked in the room - we were ready and waiting for the guests, Morne and Lara to arrive. But then I noticed that the room looked a bit bleak and lacked atmosphere. We scurried around, found a lot of candles and dotted them all over the room. A small lamp underneath the mirror, and two pot plants and some foliage transformed the room quickly into the perfect setting. It looked so cozy.
The two cheerful musicians arrived = Lara a beautiful woman whom I am convinced to be a direct descendant of Frida Kahlo - only more beautiful. Mornet and Lara immediately fussed and connected with you - I felt quite left out and jealous. :) They were so very sweet with you.
The recital started and the music was so beautiful it made us quite giddy. I've a feeling there were some angels that joined us in that little room - it just felt so special. Do you remember when Julia Roberts said in Pretty Woman - 'it was so beautiful I almost peed in my pants'?
Johnny came home from work and sat next to you on the bed. Every now and then he held your foot that was a bit jumpy at times. Lara and Morne played effortlessly and passionately as if they had all the time in the world. Yet I knew they took time off a busy schedule to come to you today.
Afterwards, when you were back in the lounge in your lazygirl chair, Lara sat close to you and listened tentatively to your whispering voice. You had a lovely conversation. Earlier, when we chatted briefly over tea, Lara casually mentioned to me that her Dad passed away suddenly a month ago. She hid her sadness bravely. You didn't see = but at one stage she excused herself and came walking down the passage where she burst into tears and sobbed bitterly - out of your earshot. I folded her in my arms and just held her. Overwhelmed - she was overcome with heartache for her own heartache, for everybody here's heartache and the heartache she knows will still inevitably come.
We dried our tears, blew out the candles, said loving goodbyes with promises to stay in touch. And yes, today I cried a little again when I drove away from our house. Most of the time I succeed in being the tough one - but now and then this old Dolly has a fragile moment too."
I guess this was one of those little things I was talking about earlier - it was nothing really. But it was everything.
Love you Sissi.
(by Karin Holtzhausen)