What to Say

I am rarely speechless.  There is a constant language motor in my brain, translating all of my experiences into essay openings, blog posts, poems, any collection of words that conveys what’s churning in that channel.

But the last four days have left me mute, except to say, I’m mute.  Tonight David’s parents’ house is quiet.  His father is in the rehab unit of the hospital, recovering from his stroke.  His mother is at County Meadows, in the Connections Memory Support program. What bland words to describe a facility that can handle what we couldn’t — a despairing, delusional, depressed women with dementia, yet enough spirit and understanding left to know on some level what was happening  and to temper escalations that could have made the transition so much worse.   The last four days of everything we had to do to make this happen are still too fresh for me to sort out in any meaningful order of language.

But I can say this.  As an advocate for over 30 years saying no one ever has any right to hit someone else, when David’s mother whacked me on the leg with her cane (it didn’t hurt at all) as we were leaving her at Country Meadows I thought, “Good for her.”

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About Grace Mattern

Grace Mattern is a poet, writer, mother, grandmother, partner, friend, family member, gardener, triathlete, hiker and for 30 years was the Executive Director of the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She resigned her position at the Coalition on June 15, 2011 in order to concentrate on her writing, while continuing to engage in the movement to end violence against women as a consultant and advisor. Her chapbook Fever of Unknown Origin was published in 2001 and her full-length poetry book The Truth About Death was published in 2012.
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