My Definition of Love: Ode to My Dalma

I have lived with my daughter and her family since 2010 in an autonomous “nanny unit” in the basement of their house—an apartment full of crafts, laptops, and travel mementos. We are connected by a staircase leading up and down from the first floor. My granddaughter was three when I retired from academia and joined them. She wrote this ode to me this Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2022. It is for me the definition of love.

Dalma who writes books like a never-ending abyss

And asks who loves her

Who is the ABCs and reading

Who is the world and English papers

Whose hands are like feathers

Is not here to talk today

Who calls me to say I love you

Who compliments me to say you’re gorgeous

Whose mind is like steel

Can’t come talk today

Travels the world day in day out

Who still walks all around

Is busy

Is a doorframe leading to a staircase

Is gone go away

Doesn’t hang around anymore

Is hiding underneath piles of paper

Who speaks to the world

Is walks and naps and clothes galore

Who goes up the stairs and down and maybe again

Is the book that is written and is never ending

Asking who loves her

Who loves her who

Published by Carole J. Garrison

I’m a conversationalist, an observer, a passionate participant in life. And now, in my later years, I’m a recorder of the lessons of my life through essays, stories, and novels. I live in the fourth moment of life, just outside the normal distribution of most people and it is from this place that I write.

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