Thursday, April 5, 2007

will she remember me next time?

i went to visit my grandmother today. i try to see her every other week but honestly, i should see her more often. she is getting old. she’s 86, lives in an assisted living community, confined to a wheel chair and her memory is starting to go. she lives about one mile away and so with taking all of that into consideration, i should see her at least once every week. the thing is though, visiting her is really hard for me emotionally. growing up, my grandmother was this amazingly strong woman who ran a very tight ship and was so independant. my grandfather died when i was about a year old and she never remarried so she was very used to doing things on her own and doing things her way.

and now she has to rely on others to almost everything and there is very little choice in her world. it is so sad to see her struggle with the reality of her life these days. and it is so sad to see her memory go. i’ll call and tell her i am coming to visit and by the time i get there 10 minutes later she doesn’t always remember that i called. she can’t remember the names of my kids sometimes and has not been able to remember the fact that i am engaged lately. she has met my fiance and every time we talk she’ll ask about my love life and i’ll tell her it’s fantastic and tell her about jerry and ask if she remembers the day he came to visit. she says ‘oh yes’ but i can tell she really doesn’t .

today i brought her a new phone because her other one decided to stop working. i had to tell her 3 times that i brought her a phone since she kept telling me that hers was not working. i then had to show her how to use the new one each time. i just felt like telling her ‘don’t you dare grandma. don’t you dare not understand how this works. you are smart and lively and an example to me of how to be a strong woman in this world. don’t you dare not be that person anymore!’ i didn’t of course, it’s not her fault and it wouldn’t make a difference anyways. i wish it would.

maybe its selfish that i just want to hold on to the person that she was and so struggle to see her because i don’t want to face the reality of who she has become. it scares me. she is my last living grandparent and i did not handle the deaths of my father’s parents when they passed away 8 and 9 years ago.. i’d like to think that i have grown since then and would now be able to handle the situation differently but i’m not so sure about that. it still scares me and i still want to avoid it and deny it as much as i possibly can.

the reality is that my grandmother has done nothing but love me all my life and now as she ages and her time on this planet is limited she deserves nothing less than all the best from me and for me to love her and be there for her the way she was always there for me. it is selfish to not visit because it is difficult or uncomfortable for me. i am sure i made many days of her life difficult or uncomfortable….yeah very sure.

my grandmother is still a wonderful woman who i feel blessed to have had in my life and i am grateful that my children have the privilege of getting to know her too! it is sad to know that one of these days she might very well not know me next time i visit. but even though i ask myself if she’ll remember me next time i will keep visiting and will go more often and enjoy the time that i have with her now because i know that i may not have that much time left.

1 comment:

Savannah said...

Thanks for writing this.