|grandma (standard:Inspirational stories, 829 words)|
|Author: saffyj||Added: May 02 2007||Views/Reads: 1866/0||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|It's never too late to make amends..|
Grandma I have vivid memories of my grandma from long ago; sitting on her knee on her front porch, sipping lemonade and eating her wonderful home-made cookies; laying in her warm arms as she sang to me songs from long ago that became etched in my memory; crying as she washed my bloodied knee after I'd fallen over, smelling the sweet smell of lilygrass as she held me close until the pain subsided quickly and the tears did too. The years went by and soon I was old enough to cycle to the schoolyard on my own. But I'd always stop Grandma's house when class was finished for some lemonade and cookies. She would be there waiting for me with a big hug and an unconditional supply of love and affection. When I did wrong it was soon forgotten, and she always leapt to my defence when my mother and father chastised me for some misdemeanour or another. That's what Grandmas do I guess. We were a team- and I can see now that she needed me as much as I needed her when grandpa passed away. I can't recall exactly when my visits after school tailed off. Maybe it was in junior high when I gained a whole new load of friends and sports became my big passion. I only know that as Grandma and I got older as the years went by, I discovered make-up and music and first dates. My mother chided me at times for not visiting Gran as my life became a whirlwind of cheerleading practise and Saturday stopovers at the local mall. I was growing up and the world was exciting and new. When grandma went into a nursing home I had just started college. I remember the sadness in my mother's voice down the phone as the inevitable happened: mother had been saying for a long time that Gran was getting confused and forgetful. She had dementia and could no longer cope on her own. When I put the phone down, a wave of sadness washed over me. When had I last seen her? I knew it must have been the previous Christmas, many months ago. I remembered her being much different back then, muddled and disorientated .I had other things on my mind though, friends to meet in the holiday season, plans to follow through. I put her to the back of my mind. She was Gran-she was invincible.... My mother's last words on the phone ran through my mind. ‘You must come to visit her when you get home'. That's what I did on my next break from college. My mother had tried to prepare me for the worst, explained to me that my Gran might not recognise me and that I shouldn't be upset. But nothing prepares you for becoming a stranger to someone who always knew you so well. She was sitting in a small room that had been arranged with her most precious things- photographs of me all around, and her favourite tulips in a vase by the window. I sat down and she looked into my eyes, giving me that wonderful smile that lit up her whole face, as she always used to do. This time though, she called me by my mother's name. I felt a solitary tear escape and trickle down my face as I took her hand. She laughed and turned away, and all at once what I thought was recognition was gone. She had turned to the sound of a voice only she could hear and began talking to a friend from long ago. But for her- they were as real as you and me. Her words were mixed-up, but she was still smiling as she toyed with the buttons on her waistcoat. I wiped my eyes, the realisation washing over me: I'd never make up for those lost years where I had faded from her life as my Grandma was fading from herself. Never again would she ask me how my day had been or wipe my tears away. I watched her as she engaged in another reality, but to her it was as real as mine and suddenly I was comforted. I took consolation in the fact that she didn't know the life she had before was gone. She didn't know the home she had lived in all her life was now being lived in by someone else. But she was happy, it was etched on her face and in her eyes and could be heard in her twinkling laugh. She looked at me and smiled – a smile one would give to a stranger on the street on a sunny morning, and I suddenly knew. The recognition was gone, I was no longer her little girl. But I could still be a kind stranger, one who could sit beside her, and hold her hand, and sing to her the songs from long ago that she used to sing to me.... Tweet
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