Leaving for home today – have been in Colorado for the last five days. It’s wonderful seeing family! My goal this time was just to help my grandmother with my grandfather.
What I learned is that my grandparents put the S in stubborn! What a challenge! I’m more exhausted chasing my 96/97 year old grandparents than I am chasing my four kids. That’s probably where their longevity comes from – too stubborn to let anything get them down!
The other thing I learned is that you can’t worry about the small stuff when there is so much BIG stuff to deal with. My grandmother worries about EVERYTHING! ARRRRGGGGHHHH! I wish I could just turn off her worry motor sometimes. Grandpa has dementia. She’s taking care of him mostly by herself. She can’t see well, can’t hear well, and, did I mention, is 97 years old! So, whether his hair is combed for the fifth time before we go down to their cafeteria for lunch, and whether or not he’s tucked in his shirt, and whether or not he’s taken his shoes off to watch TV just isn’t that important. Well…. Not in my eyes, in hers, yes. It’s constant.
The last thing I learned – empathy is about putting aside the way we think and trying to fill that person’s shoes. She’s petrified to lose him. That’s where the worry and nervous energy comes from.
I’m praying for them both. For patience and for peace. She asks me why they are still here – I know God’s not finished with them yet here on earth. Lord – please give her peace to enjoy the time they have left.
On a flight in a few – ready to be home to my own chaos, but wishing there was some way to be there for Grandma.