waiting for Grammy


He’s waiting for me on the steps to my new door to a new life.
The space for me at my daughter’s is ready except for the painting. I am conflicted about leaving here, but, after eight years of the increasing burden of caregiving, I just can’t do this any longer.
When my mother was my age, she was going on cruises with my dad, surrounded by couples with whom they had been friends since their dating days. My dad passed away in his early seventies. I want to be able to have some sort of life before my number comes up.
I imagine being able to come and go as I please, being able to sleep through the night, sitting outside on my steps in the morning and having a cup of tea in the sunshine. Here, I am not only sleep deprived; I am deprived of all of those small things that become big things when you don’t have them.
I imagine being able to get off my anti-depressants, walk my way off my cholesterol med, throw away my muscle relaxant.
It’s come down to my life or hers. My brother, who has control of everything here, will have to figure out how to get her the care she needs so close to the end of her long life.
I don’t know how long my life will be. I can’t give away what’s left. Not any more.
And waiting for me with anticipation is my grandson, whose loving energy will help me overcome the guilt I will bring with me.

13 thoughts on “waiting for Grammy

  1. Hopefully all of us here will help you shed whatever guilt you arrive with. It’s unnecessary. You are not being allowed to provide the care we all know is needed/right for our elder member even if you felt you could stay. Either way she will not really get the care she needs/deserves. And YOU deserve your life. Finally, now, you DESERVE it. You have given and sacrificed and served far beyond the most loving of offspring because she is at a place where family ought not to be the ones doing the majority of caregiving. She needs more than what family can (or should) provide. You’ve done MORE than enough so guilt has no place. Pride does. Sadness even — but not guilt.
    Your space awaits. And your family. And some clean, easy, full, fresh breaths.
    Think of what dad would say — he admired so much what you have been doing and worried for you and your own well-being. “You’ve done enough,” he’d say. “you’ve done plenty. Now give to yourself.”
    I can hear his voice so cleary…now you try and hear it to.
    Oh, and that other voice too, “Grammy’s coming to live here!!”

  2. I’m so glad you have come to this decision Elaine. You deserve to enjoy what time (and may it be a long and fruitful time) you have left. Not to mention it’s more than about time that your brother took up the load.

  3. Good for you, Elaine. You’ve paid your dues and it’s time to move on. I hope you can let go of the guilt, and put your energy into relationships that will grow (your grandson!) I have been living a Kalilily Lite story for the last year or so, supporting my dad emotionally as he adjusts to assisted living. For me, a day or two a week is becoming a strain. I can’t imagine carrying the burden that you have been under for so long.

    It’s time for a change and I’m guessing there’s a still “a dance in the old dame.” Best wishes!!


  4. May your new abode be one of peace and beauty. May your days be filled with moments of joy and contemplation. My your soul rediscover the grandness of simple living. May your body heal from the strains of past times. Elaine, I wish you all the various best for you and your family in this new adventure.

  5. Put the guilt in the shredder and move forward. You have given your Mother a fabulous gift of constant, tender and practical care for a long time. Enough.

  6. Thanks, my friends, for the moral support, which is very important to me right now. My mother is so needy — both emotionally and physically — and she is so attached to me. I feel awful knowing that I will be leaving her. I feel damned if I go and damned if I stay. But go I will, because in that choice there is hope for me. Thank you, thank you, again.

  7. And the thing to remember is, you may FEEL damned either way, but you are not. I truly, truly believe that the ONLY place you are damned in any way at the moment is where you are. In moving there is peace, happiness, laughter, sunshine, relaxing, fun and family.
    I know it feels differently than that, but it’s not. There is nothing in damning in taking care of yourself (finally). Nan has had a long, good life. And in that, what will be, will be..

  8. As I wrote to you last week, you have
    been doing what you considered was right for your mother.
    Now, you need to do what’s right for you.
    When we were young and mingling with our sororities and fraternities at Albany, I realized that you were special, and I told Bill about you. These past few months, since I’ve been reconnected with you again, I have truly admired your attention to your mother and your family. Loyalty is a wonderful trait to possess and
    you, darlin, are most loyal.
    Always remember that as long as I live I’ll be here for you, along with your many, many friends on the net and
    your dear little one and Missey.
    I’ll be looking for you.
    love you, dick

  9. Enjoy yourself Elaine. You’ve done more than prove that you are good daughter.
    You deserve this and I’m certain your grandson will cherish the memories you make with him and your other families now.
    I’m very happy for you and I wish you the best.

  10. cheers, blessings – feeling a little choked up right now – that picture of the steps to your new place & grandson waiting, it just gets me right in the ticker – you are a champ, a trooper, and an inspiration to those of us still waiting to make that creative leap into the next phase of our lives.

    enjoy every minute.

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