family stuff

My grandmother is doing well according to the doctors and was discharged from the hospital yesterday and transferred to a rehab facility.  She’ll be there for a few weeks and I guess we’ll go from there. 

It’s hard to still think of yourself as a kid and to watch the adults in your life age and deal with the ailments that go along with that.  The woman that was propped up in the hospital recliner is the same one that made my brother and me a bowl of Cheerios and a glass of chocolate milk in the mornings when we’d spend weekends at our grandparents house.  She used to be a master of the holiday feast.  She made turkey, dressing and all the fixings, plus a coconut cake for every holiday gathering that would make Paula Deen cry with jealousy.  She was an impeccable housekeeper and there was nary a speck of dust to be found in her home.  My brother and I would sock-skate through the utility room on the shiny green linoleum and our white socks would still be white after our roller derby marathons.  Over the years macular degeneration has taken much of her eyesight and there are now some dust bunnies lying around her apartment, but it’s still probably cleaner than my house.

It was so great to see her this weekend but also difficult.  She’s never been incapacitated like this and it is just hard to see her so physically helpless.  I’m sure it’s tough for her as well to not be able to do for herself like before.  But recovery looks positive and she is surrounded by people who love her.  The family took turns staying at the hospital with her around the clock so she’s never been alone.  (which is another post altogether as my grandma is, shall we say, “particular” about many things)

What is it about unfortunate events that bring people closer together?  My extended family is not what you’d consider close.  We’ve never been the type of family to just drop in on each other or call to chat that much with the exception of the grandparents.  We used to get together for the major holidays at my grandparents’ house but after grandpa died and grandma “moved to town” those gatherings sort of tapered off.  I don’t know why really, I guess we’re just ornery that way. 

However, come a wedding (yes, some of these could be considered “unfortunate events”), funeral, or hospital stay and we manage to congregate at the scene.  Grandma’s hospital room was full of relatives I hadn’t seen in ages.  I saw an uncle and cousins I haven’t seen in over eight years and met a couple of my cousins’ children for the first time, as well as my uncle’s new wife. 

Grandma saw this event as bringing the family closer together and it has done that in various ways, for the time being.   And that’s good.  It was kind of weird actually.  But in a nice, although bittersweet way. 

So send up a prayer for my gramma if that’s your thing and I’ll be heading back to Weakley this weekend.  Wonder if I’ll meet a long lost auntie or some such?

4 thoughts on “family stuff

  1. Great post!
    I’m glad you’re all getting to see each other again. And yes, you’re right. You’re definitely a mixed variety, but of the family members I know, you’re all great.

  2. With both parents firmly entrenched in their 60s I know what you mean. My 86 year old maternal grandmother lives with them as well. It is really the reverse effect of watching a child grow but instead you are watching them age more and more and become less of what you remember.

    I always thought both my parents were 10 feet tall and bullet-proof. Now I see the signs of aging and it scares the hell out of me. My father got lost coming home from the airport one evening because his cataracts were so bad he took the wrong exit. He could have hurt himself or others and he frightened himself so much that he walked into the opthalmologist’s office the very next day for a thorough exam. (Please note, he does not have that type of problem during the daylight, the cataract problem is exacerbated at night.)

    Going full circle, what I mean to say is I am sorry. I understand. For me it has not gotten easier. I am praying to be more accepting of this very basic fact of life. Your grandmother is in my prayers as are you.

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