Awhile ago I posted a blog about a Renaissance Festival that I did at a nursing home in Harrisburg. To better understand this, you might want to click here and read it.
In any case, my grandfather passed away today. To be clear, he wasn't my biological grandfather. But he married my Nanny 40 years ago, so he's been there since long before I was born. We've known for a few days that this was going to happen, so it's sad...but not out of the blue. The worst part is my Nanny...my grandfather went into the hospital to have surgery six weeks ago...and so she went into an assisted living place until the surgery was over. It was just supposed to be a short visit. And now she'll never be able to go home again. He was the one who took care of her.
I can't understand what that must feel like. My parents have taken her to see him in the hospital over the past few weeks, and she just sat there holding his hand and crying, telling him how she cries herself to sleep every night. Honestly, I think that one of my personality traits that has always been my strongest asset and also my biggest curse is my feeling of empathy. I spend all my time wondering what other people must be thinking or feeling, and while I don't understand a lot of things in life (math, politics, how to work the Blackberry Storm) I really do understand people. It's why I just can't bring myself to say the mean things I sometimes think about people, because then I'd spend the next two weeks imagining how it must have hurt them.
And so now I'm just trying to imagine what it must be like...to be 80 years old, having spent your whole life creating this world for yourself, only to have it ripped out from underneath you in a matter of days. She must be terrified. And it reminds me that especially now that she'll be living somewhere completely new and foreign to her, that I need to visit her more than I do. I need to send her more cards. When I was in the hospital for two months in college, I got a card or package from her literally EVERY day that I was there.
If you still have your grandparents, go spend time with them. I know how freaked out I get about growing older...turning 30 and having the world ahead of me is scary. It doesn't even compare to turning 80 and having know idea what's ahead. But if you love people, tell them. If you miss people, visit them. When it really comes down to it, all we have is each other.