Monday, July 11, 2005

Visits with my grandmother

My grandmother is turning 93 at the end of this month. As most of you know, up until a few months ago I stayed with her full-time for a couple of years.

I just recently moved and began to get my own life back together, as she went to stay with her only son - my father. We had some wonderful times together, and many great conversations over good meals... though I have to admit that I was completely exhausted in the end.

I went to visit with her yesterday, and check in with my father to see how she'd been doing. Her condition is getting progressively worse... which isnt really a condition at all, just age I suppose. Still, it's very hard to see her this way.

She has lost weight and become inactive for the most part. Sleeping a lot and eating very little. I say that, but it's relative to her situation. The nurses say it's normal and that her vitals are fine. My father is keeping a bedside watch and tending to her day and night. And overall she seems to be comfortable and content.

I dont think I would even go if it didnt seem to please her so much. I have such good memories of my grandmother, and I'd love to just remember her that way. When I do go, there are two things that I focus on - eye contact and holding her hand. Everything else I just let fade into the background.

Her eyes are very vibrant and full of life, and the most beautiful color of pale blue. They reflect everything that I know and love about her. She is smart and she was very successful in business... and I admire her very much.

If there was ever anything at all negative in her life, I never knew it growing up. For me she was a wonderful grandmother - teaching me how to cook, pushing me to try more and to be more, and always asking me about my studies.

Now, as an adult, I realize life isnt really as "perfect" as she always made it seem (in my eyes). Still, it's hard to see her any other way. She is - and always was - a very strong woman. Maybe proud, but it showed (to me) as strength... and is evident in her firm grip even now.

So I hold her hand, and we talk about the farm and the family or sometimes dont say much at all. I know that she knows me, even if she cant put a name to my face on some days... but it shows in her eyes.

Neither one of us wants to see the other sad. We both smile, and we talk a bit... and I hold my tears until I leave. I cant help but wonder how she is feeling inside, or what is going through her mind... but I hope she's as content as she lets on. She deserves that.