I called my grandma Friday night to see if the family and I could visit. I was amazed with the youthful voice that answered the phone. I thought her nurse aid might have answered.
I asked, “Is this Grandma?”
“Yes, this is Grandma. Who is this?”
I hoped if I called right before I came over she might remember I was coming. I told her we would bring dinner. She seemed delighted that a visitor was soon on their way.
When we got there I told her we brought dinner. She almost squealed with delight for a change of pace in her day. Even with the food wafting in the air, I had to re-tell her I brought dinner, and each time she was equally delighted. Finally we made it to the table. I said a blessing on the food and we began eating. Moments later she asked, “Are we going to bless the food?” We explained that it had been done.
I remember Grandpa doing the same thing in his later years. We would sit down to eat, and say a blessing on the food, then while Grandma and I were eating he would bow his head again and say another prayer. Then Grandma would say, “Oh Daddy, we already said the prayer!” I guess we were twice blessed.
“He was the strong one, I just don’t know why he went so soon.” Grandma shared as the hubs, kids and I visited Friday evening. She recently turned 96. Two and a half years ago my grandpa passed away. He was struggling with dementia and old age, but otherwise was in good health for being 92. It was just his time to go, I suppose.
I remember my last visit with grandpa vividly. I was given a gift, grandpa seemed more with it and we had a great conversation. It had been a while since we had, had such a conversation. He is missed and created a legacy of love, service and wisdom.
It is amazing my grandma is still going strong. For many years she had lists of things to do and keep her busy. She would comment that she couldn’t leave this earth until she got ‘this and that’ done. Sometimes now, I think she wonders why she is still here. Her to-do list fully checked off. Her days now are slow and eventless, for the first time in decades. She reads the paper and has an occasional phone call or visit, but otherwise lonely.
“It is lonely, but I am happy. I am happy, because I am in my own home. That is the way I want it to be.”
A woman who has overcome breast cancer, heart problems, a troubled back and a broken hip with little complaint and a happy attitude, she keeps trekking.
Recent months has brought more slipping of the mind and weary eyes, making visits more difficult. I knew going over there that conversation might be bleak. My previous visit was hard. We had the same conversation over and over and over, she just wasn’t the same grandma I used to talk to hour upon hour. Instead I re-explained how much my baby weighed and how he was born six weeks early. She asked again and again, “Now how much did he weigh?….. (pause) Oh my, he has really grown, what a miracle”
Our visit was a couple of hours, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she didn’t remember who it was that came to visit, but it was nice. For several years now us grandkids treat each visit as our last. Each goodbye is a bit more solemn, but grateful she is still here.
What a legacy my grandma is, Happy 96th!