My beloved grandmother was content to sit on a porch for hours engaged in storytelling, while I struggled to remain still long enough to listen. Deeply conscious of the special gift of her vibrant presence in my life, I promised myself to spend more time with her, listen attentively, and place my own schedule aside so as to enjoy her company.
Caught up in the rhythm of everyday life and the intricacies of my young self-absorption, romantic woes, building a company and searching for Mr. Right, the years flew by and grandma’s body started to break down. I now find myself lost her hugs, her unconditional adoration and the sound of her laughter with a longing that stings my spirit.
During our weekly drives together into the traditional Sunday family suppers in my mother’s house, grandma would delight in the details of my personal life. I’d brush aside her heartfelt question, feeling like a fly under a microscope and longing to be alone with my thoughts. I knew she could see straight through my eyes to the depths of my spirit, and this sense of transparency filled me with the desire to run and hide from her understanding glance.
One hot sunny day in mid-summer several years before she died, I decided to surprise grandmother with an impromptu afternoon trip. I found her sitting in a public swimming pool next door to her apartment building trying to ease her loneliness by watching the kids play and swim. In that rare moment of relationship I was overcome with feelings of love and compassion for her.
I ask myself, why was it so tough for me to sit with her, to genuinely listen, to throw aside my own schedule and quiet my thoughts so as to enjoy those precious moments together? My mother fought with her own demons in the last years of caring for grandma. Can you believe I drove to 10 different stores searching for the her the”right” types of blossoms and pantyhose!