On Friday I said good-bye to the last of my grandparents; my Nana was age 94.
At 36 I would say I am pretty lucky. I also lost my paternal grandmother this year. Both women lived very long and full lives, but it is never easy to say good-bye. Solace comes when envisioning each of them holding hands once again with my grandfathers. At peace together, at last.
Now closes a chapter of my life that left me feeling somewhat close to my childhood. Spending time with grandparents as an adult brings you back to your younger days in many ways. My Nana’s age and wisdom always humbled me and made me feel child-like in her presence. And now that she is gone, I have moved up in the ranks. My children won’t benefit from having the influence of their great grandparents. Therefore, my job became all the more important.
My Nana was one tough lady. We thought she was going to pass away over two years ago. It really looked like the end. So much so that when I found out that I had become pregnant after 9 years of trying, I felt the need to flee to her house as she lay in bed and tell her the wonderful news. Nana was one of my greatest confidants during a very difficult time in my life; I know she cried many tears as I struggled to get pregnant and thought perhaps I would never be a mother.
Alas, she rallied and saw my beautiful baby days after she was born. She also got to witness her grow and thrive for the first 18 months of her life. I am so grateful to have had that time with her.
Now comes the task of cleaning out her house and possessions. My mother bears most of the burden of this exhausting job. It’s so funny how meaningless possessions become once the house is empty of the person who once lived there. The bins of hats and gloves and cupboards of food while full, seem vacant at the same time. There really is nothing more important in life than the ones you love.
I only hope to have the priviledge of caring for my parents as they age. I know it is not an easy task by any means. But I want to have them in my life as long as possible. Watching your parent care for their elderly parents is very humbling. It really reflects how fleeting life is. I have often thought that in a blink of an eye, I will be the caregiver and my children will be there to spend the final years with their beloved grandparents soaking up the memories and reliving their childhoods.