Some people process the world through paycheques, others through the haircuts on their neighbours, or the shoes they look down at or the latest thing the Internet says. As a writer I process relentlessly through words and words and words.
So when my grandmother, on the other side of the world, started her decline into Alzheimer’s, it was her language, or rather, the sudden and marked change in it, that drew me in to the pathos of her story. She’d grown up speaking Polish, using English as a second language and England as a refuge at the conclusion of the Second World War. Her English disappeared first, fast. Her Polish came forth, lingered.