Friday, July 11, 2008

I now get it.

My great-grandmother had to take care of her mother-in-law in her old age as well as her brother-in-law who was blind.  Later in her life she took care of getting me ready for kindergarten everyday.  I have very fond memories of this lady.  She was a great lady who never spoke badly of anyone.  She was a very wise lady who taught me the benefits of a milkman--you can stop them and get ice cream bars left at your door for when your precious great grandchild is with you.  As she got older, in her 80's, she stated that she wanted to go into a nursing home.  Her children tried to get her to change her mind, but she would hear nothing of it.  As a small kid I was mad.  They, my family, by helping her with this were taking her away from me.  

My great-grandmother enjoyed the nursing facility to the max.  She loved the craft room and made all of us lots of things.  I still have the doll blanket and pillow that she made for my dolly.  As much as I missed being able to spend time at her house, she really loved the nursing facility. 

My mom is now taking care of my grandmother (my great-grandma's daughter) and my  grandfather.   Its not going so well.  My mom is finding out that you are always the kid, no matter how old you become or how many kids of your own you may have.  

I am starting to see the wisdom behind my great-grandmother's decision and how she made it.  After being the one to take care of someone she knew she did not want to do that to her own children.  My mom, as well as the Rev's mom who as also had to take care of her mom, have already told us that they do not expect their kids to take care of them.  I only hope that when I am 80 I will remember that wise decision and not put my own child through the agony that I have watched others go through.  I only wish that my own grandparents could see how their decision is affecting others.  

I also wish my great-grandmother was still alive so I could tell her that it has taken 30 years but I finally get it.   Im glad she made the decision that she did.  I may have missed  out on some time crawling in bed with her and reading stories or sitting in the kitchen eating cottage cheese and ice cream bars but at least  I have the memories that I do and nobody has had any exasperating moments of trying to taking care of her.  


Reverend Ref + said...

I'm tellin' you ... elective surgery.

The Lovely Wife said...

You can have all the elective surgery you want.....after Im gone. Remember, I get to go first.