I have been spending some time with my ninety one year old grandmother while she has been recuperating from surgery. While it is always great to spend time with Nana I feel like I have learned so much more about her, and even myself, during this period. As she navigates this experience through the cloudy eyes of dementia, I see her dealing with it the same way she has dealt with things her whole life. Seeing things for what they are and making the best of them.
Nana’s life has certainly not been what you would call an easy one. Regardless of what has gone on, good or bad, she has just picked up from whatever has happened and kept on going, even now when the dementia sometimes leaves her very confused. With the exception of when she is in pain, she is still upbeat and will often tell us what a good life she has had.
We can all learn a lot from my Nana.
Life will give you what it will and it is up to you how you go on from that. Bad things happen to all of us. Sometimes events are forced upon us and we may need to find a way to adjust to our new normal. Then there are situations we bring upon ourselves so this may mean having to make amends to both us and others for our actions. But we must find a way to keep going otherwise life becomes merely an existence.
Once something has happened it is done, no matter what or who was the cause of it. Unlike how many things were for my Nana, we have so many choices and opportunities, especially we females. We can choose where we want to work and however long we want to work for. We have childcare options. There are appliances that allow us the time to do the things we like to do. We can get a mortgage on our own. The world is open further than it ever was thanks to the internet. We have the option to change almost anything that we don’t like about our lives.
We certainly have a lot to make the best of.
During Nana’s last stay in hospital a woman who had shared the room with her commented on how good it was to see the high regard she was held in by her grandchildren and how that was often not the case. It is a testament to the person she has always been, the way she has lived her life and how highly we value her. I can only hope when I am ninety one my family think of me same way. Luckily for me I get to learn from one of the best.
Til next time…