I have gained and lost independence many times over in my life. Moving out at 19 only to find out my roommate was a psychotic control freak. Moving back home at 23 just to feel that I had to be my mothers watcher in her time of emotional need. Moving to Tennessee to have my car and days off commandeered by toxic relatives. Meeting and moving in with Tom then having children to care for.
Little bits of freedom given and taken at the same time. As my children grow and learn, I slowly regain more lateral movement. The loss of an item needed to leave the house. A small symbol of our forward motion.
But what about the other end of the line. When the children are grown and have lives of their own. Beyond any one really needing you to help and care for them. Not your children or grand children or your great grandchildren. You have complete and total freedom to do as you please.
You can walk around naked, cook the foods only you like, go on long trips to nowhere in particular. Some times I can’t wait for those days. It’s just like I imagined my 20’s to be like, only with out the cooking.
My Grandma has that life. Maybe not the naked part but she is still very independent at the age of 82. She goes to the casino, hangs out with her friends and takes little trip to visit family. My uncle lives a few miles from her and visits her almost nightly.
Lately though, there has been some cause for concern. Grandma is becoming absent minded. Her driving skill are becoming more and more questionable. It’s just a matter of time before she gets into an accident. A couple weeks ago she lost her ATM card and this past week she lost her wallet in the casino. Her wallet was returned by the casino but it was missing the $150 she got for mothers day.
She doesn’t eat well either. I know this is the pot calling the kettle black here. I try to eat halfway decent. Grandma on the other hand may not be. During a phone call my mom told me it was pretty bad. Is it too much to hope that Mom is just being an alarmist.
For a couple years now my mom, Tom and myself have been trying to convince Grandma and Uncle to move down here. Uncle leaning towards it after he retires in a few years and Grandma will go where he goes. I would like her here now though. Grandma is very reluctant to move again. She spent many years in the silent ranks as an Air Force wife and has had her fair share of moving. I don’t blame her for not wanting to do it again.
I also can’t blame her for not wanting to lose any of her hard earned independence. She was married to the same man for more than 50 years. Raised 4 kids in the military and one grandchild on and off. She worked in a sweatshop when I was a kid and was the best baker this side of the Wallkill River.
It’s not like she needs a 24 hour babysitter. She just needs someone to watch her back more than bachlor Uncle can. Some one to go shopping with and to have over for coffee. Some one to make sure she eats because she won’t cook just for herself. Who knows, maybe she’ll finally pass on her killer taco recipe to me.
|Grandma’s on the left|