It use to be little things. The name of her neighbour’s husband. The iron in the wash room.
Then it was the kitchen. She left the fry pan on and caught the wall afire. She told no one and thought about her grandfather.
She was five when he forgot her name. Six, when he remembered it. She tells a story of that day. Of how he couldn’t be calmed. How he knew no one and no thing. Except her. “She’s the prettiest girl I ever seen,” he said. “She’s my Anna.”
She doesn’t tell how he forgot again. How she cried and grew sick and didn’t understand.
For sixty years she’s pled with God. “Not me. I can’t forget.”
But sometimes…she does.
She smiles at her family. Sits quiet and anxious and hopes, “Maybe they won’t notice. Maybe they won’t know”. That it takes her a little longer than it should. To say their name.