Thursday, October 10, 2013

HOME







So, I flew into my hometown last night for a surprise visit. My daughter had no clue I was coming so she was pleasantly shocked to see me walking into her apartment. She and my granddaughter were soundly sleeping when I arrived and although it was a school/work night, I had to wake them up. The grandiva was not happy to be awakened and she had no problem with hurting my feelings with her resistance. But once she was fully awake and realized her Gida was actually in the bed with her (yes, I got under the covers with her, fully clothed), she lit up. Then she scolded me for being in the bed with clothes on. We spent a couple hours hanging out then she reluctantly went back to sleep. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed she woke up, 6 hours later, ready for more quality time with her Gida. My eyes were burning from lack of sleep but, of course, I got right up with her. I contemplated spending the day with the grandiva, thinking she would not want to leave me to go to school. But she made it very clear that skipping a day of play with her friends was not on her mind. She enthusiastically got ready for school and, as she made her way out the door, she put up two fingers and said, 'Peace Gida!'....but only after she made sure I would be there when she returns.

My next stop was my mother's house. I decided to go there while she was at work and visit with my cousin and grandmother. I was anxious to see my grandmother's reaction to me since she had promptly forgotten who I was when I moved away. I spoke with my grandmother on the phone, a few days after I made it to Charlotte, and she did not know who she was talking to. She didn't remember my voice or my name. I cried. It broke my heart. At 90 years old, it's to be expected and I knew she had forgotten a lot of people. But never did I think she would forget me, especially not that fast. I was worried my leaving would cause my grandmother to become depressed or even sick, so when I thought about it, I realized her forgetting me was actually a blessing for her. She would not become heartsick or miss someone she did not remember. Still, I held out the hope that, if she saw me in person, her memory would be revived. When I arrived at the house, I walked straight in the unlocked door. After being greeted by my startled cousin with a bear hug, I stood face to face with my grandmother and said, 'Hiiiii Grandma! and wrapped my arms around her. When I pulled away, I asked her, 'Do you remember me?' She said, 'Yes but I haven't seen you in a while.' Whew! she remembers, I thought. A few minutes later, I asked her if she knew who I was and she said, 'no.' I told her my name and I told her I am her granddaughter. She just nodded and said, 'Well, I'm glad to see you' with the unspoken words 'whoever you are' lingering in the air. Nevertheless, I am happy she is still with us and I feel blessed to be in her presence.

As I sit here and wait for my mother's arrival home, my head aches due to fatigue resulting from the late night/early morning I had with my grandchild, my ears are being assaulted by my cousin's loud enjoyment of raisins she's eating, my eye is irritated from the love I received from our very excited-to-see-me dog (I am allergic to animal hair yet I can't resist her doggie hugs) and my arms are cold due to the NY fall temperatures that my short sleeved shirt is not suited for. Yet, it all feels and sounds so good because, no matter the new places you go, people you meet or experiences you have......there's no place like home!