Changing Faces

Imagine the face of an innocent child and that of their aged grandparent. The contrast of their faces; one smooth and round, knowing nothing of the world she’d been brought in to; somewhat innocent.

The other face a wrinkled mountain range with deep crevasses around the eyes and mouth as it smiles softly. The sort of smile only grandparents know. From just a glance you can see the wisdom and knowledge they had gained from their experience of the world around them and the events in their lives.Both are sitting together on a sofa in the living room with tea, coffee and biscuits laid on the coffee table in front of them. They sit and they chat; sharing stories and tales, both enchanted by each other.

Now imagine the same scene 10 years later.

The grandparents face even more wrinkled than before. The same deep crevasses caressing their face. But the soft smile depleted, replaced with a blank stare. Their eyes searching for understanding in a world they did not understand.

As the young face walks towards them, the old face distorts. Clearly questioning the identity of the young adult in front of them. A confused look among the emotionless black of the grandparents eyes.

Then, imagine the face of the young adult now 17. Their face still smooth but the once rounded features more defined and adult-like. They look in to the piercing eyes of their grandparent and realise the dark secrets the world had kept from them for so long. They curse – how could you take my friend from me?They search frantically for the logic to explain what has happened to the person they once knew and cherished so dearly.

Hoping a piece of them will one day return beating the casket of dementia which has them encased. If only for a minute (or a second will suffice) and everything in that instant will be normal again. They’ll have their grandparent back, the one whom they would sit next to for hours on the sofa fixated on the many stories they told of their past.

Instead of the person sat next to them, an elderly person that they now do not seem to recognise, the one with whom is too angry with the world to hold a decent conversation without shouting or screaming or even being cynical. This person who on a daily basis tells the young grandchild they want to die; that the world has no use for them anymore.

The young adult curses.

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