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Life carries on and families change. Children marry and have children. Relatives move away and are not seen again or perhaps only at special occasions. Sadly that is life. Then there are the patriarchs and matriarchs of the family. These Grandparents get older and then time makes them children again. This is the way it is and it shall remain so.

Recently I saw my Grandmother of 90 in her nursing home. It’s sad to see a woman who a year ago was bossing you around and making your food change so completely. Before we played Rummy until midnight and she said the same sayings to signal the end of a day that she’s used since I was a girl.

This week she sat quietly in her wheelchair and said only a few words in barely a whisper as she struggled to get them out after much prodding. The reality is, she doesn’t really talk anymore. Her eyes follow you but only for a while and then they droop as the constant struggle of wakefulness attacks. She ate but only what was smooth and sweet. Solid foods have almost become a thing of the past. I put a tidbit on a spoon tip and reward her with a light pat on the shoulder and a smile as she takes it into her mouth and fights to swallow. I tell her how proud I am of her and then I feel bad because the words I use I also use for a dog that’s done its trick well on command.

Grandparents are a joy and though we don’t always see them often, we must keep them in our thoughts. We don’t know how long we will have them. So what time we do have becomes all the more precious as the years wind down. This is brought home to me when I see my grandmother now and look at the pictures of a scant 13 months ago. Please remember your grandparents today. Give them a call. You’ll be glad you did.

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