Nana got to calling me Rabbit when I was just a bitty thing, barely out of diapers. She said it was on account of my fondness for vegetables – carrots in particular – but anyone who’s ever met me and my overbite knows better.
As a result, that’s what most people call me to this day, more than 50 years later. Most people except Nana, that is. She’s long forgotten the nickname she gave me, long forgotten who I even am. I watched over the years as arthritis gnarled first her fingers, then her knees. Next the cataracts clouded her eyes and took her sight. And then the Alzheimer’s hit, and hit hard.
On good days, she mistakes me for my mother who died more than 30 years ago in a car crash. On bad days, I bring her breakfast in bed and she screams in terror at the stranger I now am to her. There are rarely good days anymore.
I contemplate this as I prepare Nana’s dinner. When was the last good day? When was the last time something – anything – coherent came out of Nana’s mouth? I just don’t know anymore. It seems like forever.
I look down at the salad I’ve prepared and decide to add some of the smoked Gouda she loves so much. I’m hoping it will help stir up her appetite, which has been slightly diminished lately. As I cube the cheese, I also wonder if it will hide the bitter taste of the deadly wolfsbane leaves l mixed in with the iceberg lettuce. I hate the thought of Nana not enjoying her last meal.
I climb the stairs to her room, dinner tray in hand. I open the door and Nana starts to scream.
Welcome to Day 1 of the Second Third Annual 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing. Today’s prompt was Gouda and it was brought to you by CheesyMike, who is lucky I didn’t feed him any special salad for this one. Please click on the links below to visit the other extremely talented people participating in this challenge. Just don’t accept any food from them!