Louise wrote this poem in our 8-week writing workshop at Lake Forest Senior Living Community in Plattsburgh, NY (Nov – Dec, 2022).
by Louise Patinelli
I remember when everything and everyone was larger than me.
I remember when I learned to measure things not by size but by quality.
I remember where I was when I understood there were three of us children.
I remember where I was when I understood we three were a team.
I remember understanding mom and dad were grownups who loved and protected us.
I remember it was I who, by wanting to have their love and protection, put myself with them on a two way street.
I remember what learning about God meant for me.
I remember what choosing to walk with God meant for the health of my spirit and body.
I remember learning about why the sun and the moon moved through the heavens.
I remember learning about why this happens connected me to a universe filled with wonder.
I remember what it felt like to know I was important.
I remember what it felt like to know I have a responsibility to maintain this status.
I remember what it looked like to see hollyhocks clinging proudly to our backyard fence.
I remember what it looked like for mom to maintain the life of those hollyhocks and that fence.
I remember what it sounded like to hear jingle bells on Christmas Eve.
I remember what it sounded like to hear my prayers thanking God for ears to hear.
I remember what it tasted like to have pancakes and maple syrup on Sunday morning.
I remember how I savored the taste of those pancakes more deeply knowing not everyone could have such moments.
I remember what it smelled like when mom had yeast dough rising on the kitchen windowsill.
I remember that smell of yeast dough rising can still bring me back to that tiny kitchen in the heart of my childhood world, with mom, dad and us three kids watching the dough rise
Louise Patinelli is 80 years old and living in Plattsburgh, NY. She was in the field of education and mental health before retiring. Since childhood, her passion has been art, and she has enjoyed expressing herself through the mediums of oil, pastel, watercolor and pencil. She presently leads an art workshop at Lake Forest Retirement Community in Plattsburgh, New York.