I’ve seen my 88 year old Grandmother cry three times in my life. Once was when she lost her husband of 26 years. The only Grandfather I had known, he died from cancer. Lung cancer which had metastasized into his brain. It happened quickly and with a vengeance. My husband and I lived the closest and we got the first phone call. To hear her sobbing was unbearable and I worried over her the entire 2 hour drive.
The second time I saw her cry was when we were going through my Great-Great Aunt’s cedar chest. In that chest we found letters that were from her birth mother. The family that raised her never told her about them, never let her know that her Mom really cared, etc. and I watched my Gran, who was about 72 at the time cry her eyes out like a little girl. It was the most heartbreaking scene to witness. I still to this day wish I could find out more about what happened to her parents. That story is for another blog, I suppose.
The most recent time to see her cry was yesterday. As I mentioned, she is 88 years old. For over a year now we’ve all been talking about the next steps…..assisted living, moving in with one of us, etc. After much discussion, the logical choice was that she move in with me. I had one dog and could take on her dog as well. We were able to close in our living room to avoid stairs and have been working for months now cleaning her home out and getting things moved here. Yesterday we went to her house (where my son is now living) to get a few things. As we got in the car to leave, the tears began. Broke. My. Heart. Still is.
Someday that will be me sitting in the passenger seat of my son’s car while I am driven away from my home. From all that I know and love. From much of my material possessions. She had to be so lost walking around the house that now is just about completely dismantled. Nothing where it should be. And she has always been so good about knowing exactly where everything was and where it went. Everything had a place to call home.
So now, she’s brought as much as she can fit into one room. We’ve moved some of her favorite things here so that she can feel a bit like it’s her place, too. Her bright yellow canisters adorn the kitchen counter. Her funky blue chair is sitting next to the small music box table that she loves right outside of her bedroom door. Her Renoir reprint hangs proudly over the chair. Her bird statues made of delicate china sit proudly on the mantle.
It’ll take a little time for her. She needs to mourn and grieve what was. She needs to get used to having a lot more going on in the house than what she’s used to. We need to adjust, too. Trying to tiptoe past her bedroom door so that her yappy dog doesn’t start barking (oy!). But mostly, it’s her that has the biggest adjustment.
Getting a glimpse at our future has been quite alarming. Someday, this will be us. Of course our son tells us that the first time something needs to be wiped, we’re going to a nursing home! Always humor in this household. May she feel a part of it soon!!