I don’t remember Grandma as a healthy woman. She’s been homebound for so long, I am not sure I can even imagine her out and about. They tell me that when I was little she took me for walks in the park and played Candy Land with me at my house, but these are just stories.
When I think of Grandma, I see her in her favorite floral armchair, watching TV, drinking endless cups of tea and listening quietly while I chatter away. My sisters and I visit at least once a week and we tell her all about our lives – school, boyfriends and social lives. We aren’t sure how much of it she gets and she certainly doesn’t remember much of anything we say.
I often wish that I had grandparents like my friend Dana’s. Her grandparents are young and almost hip. They have just recently retired and they are constantly on the go. They take her shopping, host big family meals and tell her endless stories about their lives. They travel the world and post pictures on Facebook (!!!) of the exotic locations they visit.
But I wouldn’t give up my visits to Grandma’s for anything. Grandma’s house is a haven for me, not least because of her caregiver, Nancy. While Grandma doesn’t retain my stories, Nancy certainly does. She always knows which questions to ask and which not to ask. She gives great feedback, too, and sometimes I am even smart enough to take her advice.
And Grandma herself might not be as healthy as I would like, but her face lights up whenever I come into the room and she smiles for hours after I leave (that’s what Nancy tells me, anyway). She doesn’t speak much but when I say “I love you,” she always responds with, “I love you more.”
Dana’s grandparents are great, but, honestly, I wouldn’t trade my Grandma for anyone. This National Grandparents Day, I will take her some flowers and update her (and Nancy) on my latest adventures. I’ll give her a hug and let her know I love her, just like I do on every visit. She may not be the most on the ball Grandma, but she’s MY Grandma and I can’t imagine life without her.