Underneath the black and white tiled linoleum in the kitchen are the original tiles.
We couldn’t rip them out because of the asbestos, so we just covered them over.
The ridiculously expensive lino almost immediately developed little holes
from my high heels, your bentwood chairs and, more recently, the stab of your walking stick.
Do you remember how I invited the manufacturer’s assistant out here to get a discount on that lino, how he told me to stop wearing heels, how I told him where to go? We got the discount on the basis of a faulty product and you were proud of me for fighting for this.
Underneath the canopy of your thick eyebrows (when did they get so thick?) your eyes only twinkle occasionally now and sometimes I can’t get even get your lips to move into a smile, no matter how hard I try with my jostling words, silly antics, tear-restrained hugs.
Underneath the muteness of your nursing home bed, I lie on a soft carpet of imagination in the hope that you will have a good night’s sleep in which you forget that I am not there with you. And, while I am on this soft carpet, I will try my hardest to erase your fear of losing me because that will never happen.
Underneath the ugliness of this disease, I see the beauty of who you are, and always have been – a big caterpillar, bypassing all of the butterflies, and becoming a vivid part of the sky.
ps. So glad our son, Ming, no longer reads my blog; he would vomit -ha! Actually, if I read this to Anthony, he probably would too, so I guess this is just for myself and the blog.