I went to the old folk’s home yesterday to see my grandma. She’s almost 100 (next May!) and just as beautiful as ever. She doesn’t remember much, or at least not in any practical way, but she always knows me right away, and that makes my heart catch and release. She and I saved each other when I was a newborn baby, and my mother was sick. She cared for me, and I helped her find a place to turn her grief into love again; she had just lost her youngest son, and I needed her so badly; no one could get me to take a bottle, and my mother was, as far as I knew, gone, and everyone around me was grieving. So much sorrow and so much hard to understand for her and for me; we simply clung to each other, and trusted in love.

She was a passionate woman, and strong, and she always understood when as a child, I felt things so deeply, took things so hard. She would stroke my hair, and say, “Sweetheart, it will be easier later, when you’re older, and have more perspective.”

Grandma, almost 100

Now she spends all of her days thinking, as best she can, about the people she has known and loved. She says, “I think of a person, and sometimes they are a child, or sometimes they are grown, but whatever comes into my mind about them, I just hold it for as long as I can, and I think about how much I loved them.”

All day. Every day. What could be more beautiful than that?

And I look at her face, so soft and kind and still so lovely, and all I can think is to follow her example, and simply think about how much I’ve loved her.

25 thoughts on “grandma

    • That poor grumpy woman, it wasn’t her fault. Motility is low at this place; she probably couldn’t get away. She is giving me total stinkear, isn’t she? I feel her pain. That place is hard for me to go to.

  1. She doesn’t look 99 no where near !!! It’s lovely that you take the time to visit her, sadly my cousins appear to of forgotten my gran (93) sadly dementia means she has forgotten about them now, I visit weekly with my children they love their great grandma’s (they have 4 grandmas actually, 2 grans, 2 great grans who have lived next door to each other for over 50 years) sadly no grandads but we consider ourselves lucky some have no relatives we know we are loved x

    • I don’t go as often as I would/should, because I am almost paralyzed by horror at the place (despite it being very clean and well-run). Almost everyone there is very old and very immobile, or very demented. Most are in wheelchairs, staring. I would die in the parking lot after a fierce struggle rather than go in myself, so I must steel myself to visit her. How I wish she were still in her sweet little home, with the roses and the hummingbirds and the old, soft, blue willow plates.

  2. what a moving post. She is very beautiful! It is not easy to become old, she seems to be full of happiness though… I see a lot of peace in her eyes.

  3. What a wonderful post, Kate. You are so very lucky to have her know you when you go to visit. Also nice for her to have memories of loved ones to help her through her days. Brings back memories of visiting my own grandmother years ago.

  4. Your Grandmother is so beautiful, Kate! A beautiful smiling face reflecting much love. Thank you for sharing.

    • She said to me, “I can tell by the way you smile that you are happy and easy in your soul,” and then she smiled that beautiful smile.

      Also: she has three lipsticks in her walker.

  5. Thick or thin, hard or easy, you go. It’s called love. Both of you were & are saved by it. I still laugh about the story you told about being outside when a tornado tore by you and how excited you were. Great memories all around. Lucky girl. I’m glad you had a good visit.
    You are loved, best gift ever.

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