My mom texted me on Monday, said that she wanted to call me about something. I was busy all day, forgot about it until she sent me “Hi honey” the next night. We called, made some tuition payments, and then they told me that grandma was going to move into their house. “She’s declining” was the only thing to say.
What really shook me was the time span. She can hardly walk. Her knee is so worn down that surgery is the only answer, and she’s so old and so frail that the anesthesia would kill her. Every step hurts, and they will for the rest of her life. I couldn’t shape the feeling of knowing that I’ll never be able to do something like I did before, but I know it must be brutally hard and I wouldn’t want anyone carrying that around.
And another thing, here I am crying on the phone to my two mothers about it, attempting to deeply internalize that my grandma won’t be with us for much longer, when she may have years left. I’m forcing myself to process these emotions when the event they’re attached to may be far in the future. I asked my parents about this and they tried but didn’t help. I don’t think they understood what I was saying, which makes sense cause it was all between choked back moments and tears.
Last Christmas, my grandma had to make it down the last step of my aunt’s porch. It took my mom, my aunt, my cousin, and me all around her to help her down the step. And even then it took her 15 minutes to bear through it. She was in tears of pain. My mom whispered to my aunt, “next time we’ll bring the step for her.”
To which my grandma scoffed, and whimpered, “If I even make it to then.”
I grew up with her. After school she’d pick me up because my parents were at work. My brother and I would stay at her house until we got picked up. I love her a lot. As I got older, I began to realize what a deeply scarred person she was, and that she had many ugly parts to her. It’s a complex subject, but I’m still dealing with what it all means for me and all those memories I have with her.
Regardless, I’m thinking about it. Which is, at the very least, something.
Please take care, good luck with everything, and have a wonderful week.
Jonah J. Sobczak