In the end maybe it doesn’t matter that they never wrote back
That he didn’t apologize
That the salsa stain on your cardigan never came out
That your dreams fell asleep in the womb
That you were often passed over
passed by and never learned to conjugate verbs in the past perfect,

That you lost your will to live but kept on living

Failed geometry twice
Never did Vegan, never did Vegas

Never did what they told you,
Never told them what you did

Never got what you deserved
Never deserved what you got

That you flossed twice a day
Took your blood pressure meds regularly

Watched your sodium intake,
The nightly news
Once snoozed three Facebook friends

Never saw Elton John perform live
Or viewed Lenin’s dead body.

In the end what does matter is the day when Mary’s DNA pressed the
SELECT ALL option on the keyboard of her cerebellum

Then its index fingerprint on the DELETE KEY

Making one last withdrawal from Mary’s memory bank

Maybe it does matter
How two days after that
Mary’s husband Bernie sat at table
With a half eaten English muffin and a Kodak Moment photo of their summer Vacation in the Costwolds decades ago

He reminded Mary of a pub where they dined on Sheep Street

And how the One who is able to restore the heavenly Manna of memory
Will, in the end, make all things new

Even perhaps offering them both a platter of Bangers and Mash in Paradise

At that moment something lit up in the dark hallways of Mary’s hippocampus

And, after not speaking a complete phrase in sixteen months, suddenly blurted

“Bangers and Mash? I had almost forgotten how much I loathe that dish”

Mary never spoke again after that

At the church. during Mary’s brother’s solemn eulogy
Bernie remembered his wife’s last words and broke out, in what some described unholy spasms of laughter

It was an awkward moment, to be sure

But Bernie didn’t care

In the end, he reasoned, maybe it doesn’t matter if there’s Bangers and Mash in Paradise

He’ll have Mary again

And, hopefully, maybe some decent Chinese takeout.

Author Byline:

Phil Ginsburg is a playwright/poet who lives in Colorado Springs, CO.  His most recent theater piece is a virtual play entitled “Voices Beyond the Veil” that can be viewed on VillageArts.AnywhereSeat.com “Remembering Mary” is a work prompted by witnessing the effects of Alzheimer’s on several friends in his life.

Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio – Shifting dementia care from crisis to comfort around the world one episode at a time by raising all voices and delivering sounds news, not just sound bites since 2011.

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