I kept staring at an empty page trying to get this post made. I wanted it to really say something from the get-go. So I went in search of a quote and found the following:
“People who don’t cherish their elderly have forgotten whence they came and whither they go.”
— Ramsey Clark
I found that so applicable for the post I want to make.
I have always had a hard time being around the older generation – if their minds are starting to slip. I especially have a hard time being in retirement homes and things of that nature. I’m not sure what it is, but stuff like that makes me anxious.
A few years ago, my maternal grandmother got really ill and just couldn’t seem to get better – shortly after that she had a pretty bad fall. She was sent to a nursing/rehab center for awhile. It took a lot of courage for me to go visit her, but I was glad I did. Until my mom went not 5 minutes after I left and my grandma couldn’t remember who was just there to visit her. Thankfully, she remembered me while I was there.
Since that time almost 2 years ago – I haven’t really visited my grandmother much. After she left the nursing/rehab center she went back home, but about 6 (give or take) months ago my mom and her siblings decided to move her into a retirement home.
My grandma’s health and mind are quickly declining and everyone felt it was best that she had someone looking out for her and that she was closer to her children. While she’s closer to her children, she’s still an hour away and while I kept telling myself I would visit her weekly – I never have.
Then my grandma’s birthday was approaching. My mom felt like we needed to do something with her and asked what worked best for everyone. Knowing Jace’s birthday party was going to be on the 17th (Sunday), just one day after Grandma’s birthday – I said Sunday would be a better option for us.
However, both of my sisters knew that Saturday was better for them. So the plan was made that those who could would take Grandma to dinner for her birthday on Saturday (16th) and then my mom would bring Grandma to Jace’s party on Sunday – so that I’d gt a chance to visit with her.
Saturday wasn’t looking good for us as Shaylyn had to cheer at a football game that started at 2:00. The earliest I’d be able to make it out to my parents would be 5:00ish. At first they planned dinner for 4:00. But after texting my mom and explaining that we could be there if they went to dinner later, the time was moved to 5:00.
It made Saturday super crazy for me, but it all worked out. We were the first ones to the restaurant. Because we have such a large family, I wasn’t sitting next to my grandma at dinner – so I didn’t really get a chance to visit then.
Afterwards we headed to my mom’s house. It was a beautiful, summer night and the kids were enjoying being outside, so we just visited outside. Eric and my brother in law, Cody, along with Cody’s little brothers opted to play Pool inside.
I’m not sure why it happened, exactly or how, but for some reason I ended up being able to visit with my grandma for quite awhile without a lot of distractions.
We talked about her birthday and how 95 was an awesome age to live to. I told her she needed to make it at least another 5 to reach that awesome number of 100. She laughed it off, but kind of said she didn’t want to live that long.
We talked about how good her children have been to her. Most of her children have been blessed with wordly wealth and they’ve always been good to take care of their mother with some of that wealth. I told her it just means she raised them well.
She talked about how much fun it was to watch all the little kids running around and you could see the joy in her eyes watching her great-grandkids play. When my sister in law mentioned that she couldn’t believe Tanis was 14, my grandma’s eyes went wide and she just shook her head in disbelief. While she may not know who Tanis is by looking at him, she certainly remembers our names. I was so thankful for that brief moment of recollection.
We told a few more stories and had some more laughs, but Grandma was getting tired and my mom could tell she was ready to get back to her new ‘home’. Before she left though, I wanted to make sure we got some pictures with my grandma. I would have hated not taking any photos and having her pass away before we had another opportunity. I’m not saying that will happen, but if it should happen – I’ll be glad we have them.
We let the kids play for a little longer while my mom took Grandma home and they had lots of fun.
Shaylyn wanted to bring team spirit to the other side of the valley and so she left this little sign in my parents driveway.
I can’t tell you how much I appreciated the opportunity to spend my grandma’s 95th birthday with her. She has been such an inspiration to me. She’s such a great example of loving people for who they are.
It’s been sad to see how quickly her body’s been slowing down. I couldn’t believe the change from Christmas to now.
She is completely ready to return to Heaven, but the rest of us aren’t quite ready to let go. She constantly mentions how mad she is at my grandpa for not coming and getting her yet.
Whatever the Lord has in store for her in the coming months or years, I am thankful to have had such a quiet and fun night celebrating her 95th birthday!