02/01/10

daily diminishing (day 219)

This little box holds my Granny’s hair that I carefully removed from her hairbrush, after brushing her hair a couple of months before she died. She was in a nursing home at the time and unable to do even the “simple” things like brush her hair and wash her face. When I visited her, I loved to do these things for her, even though it was painful to be present in the moment of doing them. When my sister and I were little girls, my Granny loved for us to groom and preen her – it was more like the latter, animal-like. We cut her nails, shaved her legs, even cleaned her ears — to this day we can hardly believe she let us do all of this but it was a sign of her devotion to us, as much as it was of ours to her. I have a vivid image of her reclining on her bed, the two of us running around her busy with our tools.

While brushing her hair on the day I took this, I discovered that the tubes to her oxygen mask had become embedded in the flesh behind her ears. It was such a strange and upsetting discovery – one that physically manifest into in my body. That memory is tangled in this bit of hair.

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~ by cmclaurin on February 1, 2010.

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