I never knew when you left me,
Was it the Tuesday that poured with rain?
Maybe the Wednesday we watched cricket.
I didn’t think it would happen at first,
We were inseparable, all those memories and stories we made.
But I’ll always remember the last words you said to me:
Don’t call me that! I’m not your granddad, love.
All those years together had disappeared,
I wasn’t your little solider anymore.
We had become strangers to each other,
Was it this moment, I ask, that it had stolen you from me?
It’s me, your little soldier.
I know it’s been a while since we talked.
Do you still remember me? I know I’ve changed a lot.
Wish you were here, I miss your voice, well, I miss you full stop.
You always knew what to say to make me smile,
But I did it, I graduated, and I hope you were watching,
You’d have been so proud of me, I became a writer, just like I promised.
This piece is in memory of my granddad, who was my biggest supporter when it came to my career as a writer. He encouraged me to go to university as he had always been a big supporter of my work. My biggest regret was that I never told him I’d graduated as he passed in 2016 shortly before I finished my degree.
I am writing this in support of #ArtTheBestMedicine movement that is raising awareness of art for people living with dementia. My granddad was one of the many sufferers diagnosed with a form of dementia and I hope that with this poem will not only do him justice but make others aware of the condition.