Three eggs, 100g of sugar, 300ml of milk, 200g of flour and 50g of butter. This is the very simple recipe for my happiness. I don’t have that many memories of my grandmother, so I’ve always kept this recipe clear in my mind, as a way of remembering her.
Every time I think of my grandmother, the first thing that comes to mind is crepes. Every time I eat one I get transported back to that kitchen. I see her, wearing an apron, grappling with the stove with a ladle in her hand, whilst she hums to some unknown tune in her head.
Years later I called her for the recipe. “Hello, who is it?”
“Hello Grandma, it’s me. I was wondering if you could give me the recipe for the crepes you always used to make. I’m trying to make them but I don’t know if they’ll be as good as yours but I want to try anyway”.
“Hmm, ok let me think…”
“Grandma are you still there?”
“I’m sorry my love, I really can’t remember”.
She had been cooking crepes her entire life and she couldn’t remember the recipe. She couldn’t remember the recipe for my happiness.
People are lying when they say that memories last forever. They fade slowly and then disappear. She started to lose hers one by one. She had developed Alzheimer’s. I felt so inexplicably guilty that I was just couldn’t visit her.
Then one day I realised just how short life is and I was terrified of regretting my decision to not see her for the rest of my life. I had to go and see her but it was too hard. I was so selfish! All I could think about was how hard this was for me, but what about the pain that she was going through? I must have gone to visit her two or three times in about five years. I couldn’t face seeing her like that: a person empty of any memories. a
The nursing home was about a mile from my house. I staggered there. I had spent the whole morning drinking, one beer after another so that I could drown the way I was feeling.
When I got there all I could do was cry. I sat by her bed and held her hand, uttering words of apology. I wondered if she could understand me, if she still knew who I was. Then, out of nowhere she took my hand and squeezed it tightly.
A week later she was gone. I’ve never been able to escape the thoughts of all the times my grandmother had waited for me to visit her. These thoughts have always haunted me. I can’t turn back time so the only thing I can do is try to forgive myself for being so selfish and to try and never make the same mistake ever again.
Never try and drown your sorrows, people often forget that their sorrows can swim. Try to face these difficult feelings, look them right in the face. It’s the only way of working through them, and getting over them. I am trying to learn to love myself again, just like the way she had always loved me. I feel like eating a crepe.