• Elsie's Letter

    To whom it make concern,

    I've never been known for my attention span;
    in fact my husband thinks I'm gormless,
    but I'm losing my memory
    one story at a time;
    And at the moment I'm getting away with it
    in a forgetful kind of way.
    I'm trying to keep things in the front of my mind
    and I've only left the gas on a couple of times
    so far, that I'm aware of today.
    Now it just so happens that I spent a good chunk of my life
    working as a nurse in elderly care,
    so although I've no idea where it is my brain's going,
    I'm under no illusions as to what's waiting when it gets there,
    So I’d thought I’d better write this letter
    for later on in my dementia,
    and if you’re the sorry sod who's reading it,
    then my arse is your career.
    I have half a sugar in my tea
    and I’m very partial to custard.
    I can’t abide fisherman’s pie,
    especially if it’s pre-digested.
    You can swear in front of me and I won’t mind;
    and don’t worry if you’re careless now and again,
    as long as you’re gentle and kind.
    You can even take the piss a little if you like,
    ‘cause I’ll be giving you plenty of mine;
    But don’t treat me like an embarrassment
    even when I’m embarrassing,
    just keep me nicely medicated
    and clap your hands when you see me singing.
    Please don’t manhandle me,
    unless I hit you first
    Try and make sure I have clothes that fit me
    and don’t worry about being a brilliant nurse.
    Just give me a lie in now and again,
    and if I’ve filled my nappy but I appear quite happy,
    change the other people first.
    And please be patient with my husband.
    We've been married since 1963
    and every pore in his body is going to want to stay with me;
    and although he'll be full of anger and pride,
    he'll be quietly going to pieces inside,
    so try and involve him with everything as much as you can
    because he does try his best and he's only a man.
    So thanks in advance
    for all your hard work and dedication.
    I hope I can make you smile as my senses slide,
    and I hope that I'm a model patient.
    I’m aware the fact I’ll lose my memory
    won’t stop me feeling things emotionally,
    so smile a lot, have fun and lie to me,
    and when I final lose it all,
    just give me somewhere soft to fall,
    so I can decompose with a modicum of dignity;
    and if you have an ounce of compassion,
    try and slip me the occasional whiskey.
    I think that completes the briefing.
    I wish you well in all you do,
    and if you're ever in my position,
    I hope someone does the same for you.
    Rob Gee