From Chicken Soup for the Child's Soul

It Isn’t How It Used to Be

When I was born, she bathed my skin.

When I was one, she tucked me in.

When I was two, she blew the double candles on my cake out. Whew!

When I was three, she let me gallop on the “horse” that was her knee.

When I was so grown up at four, she coaxed me through the preschool door.

When I was five, she helped me keep our sickly, runty pup alive.

When I was six, I longed for storms and rainy weather, so we could snuggle up and read our books together.

Then seven. I can still recall the leaf prints that we made that fall. They’re right up on my bedroom wall.

When I was eight, she started acting somewhat strange.

And last year was the time I noticed bigger things began to change.

And now I’m ten, and Grandma can’t remember who I am . . . again.

I remind her, and she says, “I see,” but I know when she looks at me, it isn’t how it used to be.

I help her comb her snowy hair and go for walks whenever the air is still and warm, and read to her when there’s a storm.

I coax her up the back hall stairs and say some silent prayers, and feel SO angry!

Uh-oh, here comes a tear, and Gran says, “What’s the matter, dear?”

I bury my head in her shoulder and worry how it all will be when she and I are even older.

But anyway, I’m glad I came and that her hugs still feel the same.

Virginia L. Kroll

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