Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Granny and Advent.

Grandma with Sam in 2002.
My last remaining grandparent - my mom's mom - has been slowly making that turn around the bend from healthy and independent to not-so-healthy and unable to live on her own.

Among her issues is her tendency to fall, and sometimes not remember how or why it happened. Not only is she generally unstable physically, but she has had several small strokes and a few weeks ago suffered one significant enough for her to lose function of one side of her body, as well as her ability to communicate, for a couple days.

She has since recovered and a person who meets her today might be surprised to learn it ever happened, and especially so recently. But we know. I know she is a feeble shadow of the person she used to be, one who can no longer take care of herself the way she used to, and that gives me pause. It makes me think about how our lives are but a flash in this universe. We are on this earth for such a short period of time. Sure, we can make a difference while we're here. We can do much to impact the world we live in. And we can touch the lives of others in some positive way. But it just doesn't seem long enough.

Four generations: Grandma, Rachel, me and my mom in '07.
I know we might not have much time left with Grandma, so I want to cherish the time I have with her. I will have plenty of opportunity over the coming weeks as my parents and aunt and uncle (who together generally provide granny's care) are all at their winter homes in Florida. I've been charged with visiting granny a couple times a week at the rest home to check up on her and visit with her, take her anything she needs or wants, and make sure she is receiving the kind of care we all expect for her.

My parents are thankful for the respite and have expressed as much to me, yet they are concerned that keeping track of one more thing, caring for one more person might be burdensome for me. I do not consider it a burden. I do it willingly and think of it as a privilege. At least I can do something for this woman who has loved me all these years, and for my parents, too, to give them a break. Despite being so far away, I know they are ready to return to Michigan at a moment's notice if things take a turn for the worse.

I find it highly appropriate that as we begin this new chapter in Grandma's and our lives, this week we also begin Advent. Advent is the season of preparation leading to Christmas when we celebrate the coming of Jesus Christ - His birth, and the impending second coming.

This week our pastor asked us something that really made me think. He said we frequently pray "amen, come Lord Jesus" and we truly expect that He will come again. But what if He came today? What if we said "come Lord Jesus" and He did?! Would we be ready? Could we answer for our lives, for all we've done and for all we've left undone?

My honest answer was I don't know.

Actually, my first thought was "holy crap, I never looked at it that way." I guess it's a good thing Pastor Bill didn't really want us to answer out loud. But seriously, who can say they're really ready? Grandma told me last summer on her birthday that she's ready. She said she's had 82 good years to do everything she has wanted to do, so when her time is up, it's up.

It's really caused me to think this week. Not only about whether I am ready, but if I'm not, what can I change about my life so that when the time comes, I am.

No comments:

Post a Comment