Wednesday, November 29, 2006

to grandmother's house we go

Through a beautiful fluke I get to see my grandmother this weekend – I’m traveling to Seattle for a business meeting early in the week, and will have Sunday to catch up with her, take her to church, run errands, have some lunch. Half a day won’t be enough to get it all done and say all the normal everyday things that never get said when the patterns of your days play themselves out hundreds of miles distant from one another.

I spoke with my aunt last night – Grama’s been seeing things. People in her apartment: throwing her surprise parties, chasing her with knives. She’ll be seeing the doctor soon, for real, to see if there’s any way this can be tidied up with chemical intervention – thoughts are that a bacterial infection may have run amok. Or maybe just the anxiety of growing old has become too much.

She’s forgetting things too, and I’m so unsure that she’ll remember our Sunday date that I’ve asked both my aunt and the front desk at the elder care facility where she lives to reinforce it, to remind her, to leave messages so that she doesn’t forget.

Talking recently with my father about the memory thing he remarked that maybe it’s a blessing – because growing old and losing all the pieces and friends and habits that make you you would be too painful if you could remember it all. If you could miss it all.

Maybe. And maybe this too is the way we mitigate the grief before it hits us full on, and this one, too -- she who has loved you long and fiercely and who has won all the affection that you have to give -- must go.


Lolabola said...

well my grandfather is experiencing much of the same. It's hard for him to be around me because apparently I look a lot like my grandmother when she was younger and I can see him get confused and then depressed when I'm around.

I loved that video you posted from the commercial you two were in. Your grandma seems like a cool lady. I can only hope my wedding photos look as good so many years later.

anniemcq said...

What a beauty your grandmother was and is. When you would talk about her, I would picture her stooped and kindly. She is so regal and stunning! I love the older pic.
It's hard to think that someone we share so many memories with can drift, leaving us to hold on to them alone. But there is grace to be found in the moment, and my wish for you is that your visit is full of those. Moments that will sustain you, that you will cherish always.

suttonhoo said...

thanks for the great comments, you two. :)

that does look like a wedding dress, doesn't it -- it's actually Grama all dolled up for the Grand Potentate's Shriner Ball -- back when my Bompa was Grand Potentate of the Nile Temple in Seattle in the 60s.

anne said...

wish you had more time in seattle!
hopefully this snow is gone before you are here. of course seattlites have yet to learn to drive in this kind of weather... :)

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