The softness that comes in time
All my life I had known that the stereotype of ‘grandma’ included soft edges, kind words, endless encouragement, and cookies.
My grandmother, who we call Grandy, was basically none of these things. She was always game to read a book to us and I remember sitting in laps long long ago, her encouragement was more in the form of challenge, her kind words were rare but insight or conversation was common and I learned more about avoiding sugar than eating it from her because she is a diabetic who gets sugar rage when it is out of control. She would hold us all to an internal standard and was not afraid to call us out and if you chose to fight about it she was up for a fight, often at volume. She was a teacher, a mover and shaker, a businesswoman and the person who taught me first lessons about finance and investing (at probably 5). There was time for us, when we fit in, because she was the glorious center of her solar system. She loved us without question, wanted the best and helped push us all toward her vision of ‘the best’.
Every so often I wished I could have that soft grandmother figure but I was always proud of the grandmother I had.
Today I realized I have a soft grandmother now. She is rounded around the edges. The fight is a flicker. She may still be fiesty with aids but it is more petulant then defiant. I talk and she listens and I know she loves me but she isn’t hearing me anymore. I’ve called every week for years and at one time I could talk to her for hours and these days she can only hold the conversation for a few minutes. He voice is softer, her words are softer and I worry that it isn’t just a bad day anymore.