A poem written in memory of my Grandmother, and read out at her funeral.
Another Christmas Day came,
This one not the same.
We didn’t want you alone in the old people’s home,
So we gathered all together at my brother’s house
And you sat in the corner as quiet as a mouse.
By then dementia was doing its thing
You’d point and say “who’s that? There, him!”
“Do you know that lady? Look there’s a baby!”
The long-term memories you seemed to retain,
But shorter term things were like treasure mislaid.
So I knew what was coming as I sat by your side,
You asked “who’s that lady?” I replied, “Gran that’s my wife”.
Your face filled with shock,
Eyes locked, jaw dropped.
You laughed “don’t be silly, she’s not, you what?!”
I began to worry you’d reject not accept me,
Or worse still rebuke and correct me.
Or say being gay just wasn’t right in your day,
Despite years ago telling me you thought it was ok.
Instead you took my hand as your eyes filled with love,
And said ‘as long as you’re happy dear, well that’s enough’.
Relief flooded through me, the conversation was done,
Christmas resumed with food, presents and fun.
I didn’t know minutes later the same question would come,
Then every twenty minutes till the day was done.
I’ve never come out so many times in one day,
I should’ve worn a t-shirt saying REMEMBER I’M GAY!
So now as it’s time to say goodbye,
I think often of that Christmas gone by.
How that moment is perfection in its reflection of you.
Your unedited acceptance of the person I am,
I won’t ever forget it, or you, lovely Gran.