10/27/17: The Golden Years

We are meant to enjoy them- Traveling this week with Bekytt has been a true blessing. While nervous at first, I knew it could be done, I just didn’t know how sane I would feel at the end of it.  I worried about typical things like how his nights would go when staying with family.  Would he keep everyone awake? Would he be comfortable enough to sleep? Could I wash his diapers? Would we run out of diapers? What if he started to hate the car? What if he got sick? All of these things and more I worried about briefly, but my mind was made up that we would visit family anyway.  Nearly all of my family lives in Northeast Ohio, so I had to make the trip eventually and now seemed like the right time. I am off of work. Bekytt is 4 months now and it’s not snowing yet.  So here we are! Day 6 of our trip and I feel so blessed.

We have made time almost everyday to visit my grandma. This has been one of the most important stops for me because my grandma and I are so close.  She helped raise us and my mom used to live with her so her home was my home when I came back to visit.  I always loved our visit.  We’d talk a lot, laugh frequently and of course bicker now and again.  I definitely get my stubbornness from her and I love it! Most of the time.  She doesn’t listen sometimes just like I didn’t listen when I was younger.  What goes around comes around I guess! She used to call me a little shit in the sweetest way possible, but she was right. I was and am still definitely that.  So if it is her time to be that,  I will just think it in the sweetest way possible because I adore my grandma no matter how much we can bicker.  

I often say if I could pick her up and move her to WI I would in a heartbeat.  It is very important to me that Bekytt gets to know his great grandma as much as he can. I want her to know him just the same, so every day we are here I try to make it out to see her.  I think we tend to get frustrated when our grandparents start to change a little as they age.  They either can’t remember what they used to and may repeat themselves or ask the same questions over and over, or maybe they can’t get out much or move as much as before.  Maybe they just complain about everything, but however they change, I think it is hard for us to truly understand because we know and love them a certain way, and we do not know what it is like to be their age.  I imagine my golden years being just that.  Golden.  I imagine finally living in the commune I always wanted, even if they call it assisted living.  I picture it like college all over again for old people who don’t need to study.  I swear I’ll do all the activities. Balloon volleyball.  Bingo. Trips to the movies. Martini hour.  Seated yoga.  To me it sounds amazing, but I am also not there or told I have to be there.  

 

Losing our independence must be so hard. I mean I get frustrated when my husband comes to help change my flat tire even though I know he can do it better than me. I can only imagine getting older with everyone helping you do everything. But I also feel it is our responsibility as the younger generation to love and help them through it all, and it’s not hard to do. My grandma put up with me through so many stages of my life. I want to be here with her through this stage of hers and I would do anything for her to enjoy it.  At times I feel helpless like I’m not doing enough. Or that I should move back.  Not because I feel I have to, but because I am scared to lose her.  We were close before my mom died, but even closer after.  She has taught me so many things about life and listened to me through all of my relationship ups and downs.  Even when I don’t understand her, I have always loved her.  

 

My mom, my grandma and I would share the biggest belly laughs.  Whether we were playing Phase 10, Clue on the tv, or she was stealing crackers from the winery, some of my best adult memories of coming home are with her and my mom.  Losing my mom was heartbreaking.  I can’t imagine what coming home will feel like when she is gone.  I don’t even want to.   She may not want to live to be 100, but I want her to (if she wasn’t in pain).  That would mean she’d get to know Bekytt until he was at least 15yo! How amazing would that be?! But I also know there is not much she expects me to do besides make time for her.  She also expects me to treat her the same as I always did and maybe I should listen to her on that. She is my grandma after all. As much as I think I know best for her physical health, maybe I should just shut my mouth and let her do what she wants to.  She deserves that at least, right? The problem is, I don’t know how to keep my mouth shut and I’m pretty sure she taught me that.

So if you’re reading this grandma, I love you. I may not understand you all the time and I may overstep your personal space or tell you what I think is best for you, but I do it in love just as you did for me all those times I didn’t want to hear it.  Remember, these are your golden years! There has to be a way that they can be fun! And I’ll die trying to figure it out! Thank you for all of our memories.  Every. Single. One.  –Kathryn Kraft, MPT

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