Wednesday, July 16, 2008
I think my Gran is my favorite older person. I have learned to avoid the word "senior" because of its relation to "elder and senior abuse" in the media of late. The phrase older person still relates them to being a person, and not some relic that's placed on the fringe of society because they can't keep up. Gran can sure keep up. She keeps up with people so religiously that my mom has had a cell phone for about two years and still hasn't given Gran the number. Gran can be intense.
Gran's name is Vera, and she has been alone since November '05 when Grampa died. It took her a little trying to get the wheels turning again after that. With the house a literal firestarter, full of Grampa's old school books and sports almanacs and encyclopedias and out of print religious literature, she has since been trying to clean out the house of all this almost completely unsalvageable reservoir of paper. Where I just lost 3 grandparents in the last 30 months, I can understand with no problem at all that you can't just immediately remove someone like that from your life and move on with no problem. Much is the same with breaking up from a relationship with someone you loved dearly. Gran didn't just go nose to the grindstone and start moving out boxes and boxes of books to the dump. She went through each one with the timid fervor of one who was recanting every fun time, every cute little relic or picture, every cubic ounce of love and memories shared with this partner of 50-odd years. After feeling the opportunity to be with someone I loved (and still love) shrivel and die, and thinking that I'm the lonely one, I can find comfort knowing that Gran is doing something that takes a lot of courage; closing out her life on her own steam. I know that's all it amounts to anyway... all you ever really have is yourself... but a companion can be the greatest treasure and the desire that fills your heart and makes you forget about ever feeling lonely.
I just talked with Gran this afternoon and she is in as sarcastic and good spirits as she can be. That while having a broken down washing machine and random beggars coming to her door. How Gran makes sense of the world is a reminder of how much potential I have to make my life a very happy one. She absolutely cherishes the friendships she has left in her life, in her family, and in her past. I haven't met half the people I will meet in my life, and I know there is a lot of opportunity for me to find someone who understands my need to belong to someone else. Maybe my feelings that linger in this most recent relationship are just the prologue to a really sweet and true friendship. I have gotten past dwelling on repairing what part was broken, and am now more interested in which parts still work. *hugs for B when you find this*
I love you Gran~