This post is a bit of a downer, but I just needed to write this last night. My blog, my blurb 🙂
Sometimes I think I’m selfish.
Not in the, “I think only of me” sense at all, but still selfish nonetheless.
I have basically constructed my own little world, in that for the most part I do what I want and am really not accountable to anyone else. Yes, there are family and friends, but there are no children I am responsible for, no husband to check-in with if I’m running late. Yes, I have a boss and responsibilities, but I’m basically working to support myself and my necessities.
This means that at times I don’t have to pretend to be anything other than what I’m feeling. If I’m cranky, I don’t have to pretend smile and be civil when I come home from work. If I’m tired, I can sleep. If I want to do a yoga tape, I don’t have to wait for the TV. In essence, I kind of revolve my world around myself. Even though I give what I can to those I care for, the only one I really have to worry about making happy is me.
I don’t hide my emotions well, and to be honest, I think I would find it exhausting to try and live my life that way. But there are times I am humbled, when I push any mood or “disordered” thinking out of my head and simply smile, laugh and talk. While I may not be that way all the time, I can play that role when necessary.
It’s been very necessary lately with my grandma.
While details aren’t needed, let’s just say the relationship between her, my mom and me is about as tight as three generations can go. That’s a good thing and a bad thing, as my mom deals with grandma craziness and I deal with a double dose from both of them. However, I can play that role when necessary.
Gram is 86 and I’ve pretty much prepared myself for her death the past few years, actually since my grandpa passed away eight years ago. They had done everything they ever wanted to do—created a business, a huge family, a life together for more than 60 years—and were so completely at peace (you wouldn’t know it by how they argued, but it was all part of the deal.)
So as bad as it sounds, when she goes I’ll be fine. Even though I have an odd perspective on death in general (as in, it doesn’t really bother me), things have been getting so bad that it will actually be a relief when it happens. But these past couple months it seems it’s getting closer—she has pretty much given up even trying. She can’t walk, she’s incontinent and no longer makes an effort, she’s stopped eating and she’s just…vacant. It’s like she’s already gone.
But it finally hit my mom last night. (Background—she’s an extremely emotional person. I am the complete opposite, ironically.) I was making a dessert at my mom’s when she came back from the home; she goes every day. Something last night hit her hard and she lost it. I can’t say much, as she doesn’t really understand my “I’m at peace with things” attitude at times like these, but sometimes you don’t have to say anything at all. By the time I cleaned up she was fine. We have this silent understanding when it comes to emotions.
I had plans of an evening walk or yoga tape — of course I need my exercise — but instead I ran over to the home and watched some of the game with gram (we get our love of baseball from her.) I smiled. I talked a little about my day. She listened and continued to fiddle with her hands a bit as she’s taken to doing lately. Something washed over me and so I brushed her hair, now so brittle and thin, for half an hour. I massaged her arms and swollen legs as best as I could with her sitting in her chair. I knew she didn’t care how her hair looked, if I was clumsy in my efforts at massage, if I got my walk in that day.
All she knew was she loved how it felt.
Her eyes were closed and for once, I didn’t try and fill the silence. With the game in the background, I didn’t make my normal conversation. I just let her be quiet. I just let me be quiet. I watched her enjoy this simple pleasure, as minor as it was, and for that hour I put away any “to-do’s” I had planned for the night. I didn’t care how I hair looked, if I was clumsy in my efforts at massage, if I got my walk in that day.
All she knew was she loved how it felt.
They came to get her for her bath, but before I left I took her face in my hands and kissed her, telling her I love her like I always do. As she always does, she replied back that she loves me more. We go back and forth with our argument until one of us gives in (or I leave and shut the door yelling “More!”)
This time her voice was a little weaker, and mine might have been, too. Yes, I have basically constructed my own little world, but she’s been a huge part of it for 28 years. If she’s ready, I can play that role when necessary.