Wednesday, November 29, 2006
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.