We’ve been having some difficult days this summer, at Casa Minify. For one thing, our house flooded. And so did our car. Cue a difficult and mildly traumatic move across town, undertaken with a pickup truck and a spouse who was as stressed out as I was. And then my bike was stolen off the back porch of our new place. My bank for some reason declared me as dead to the credit bureaus. (That one was kind of funny, in a dark and I’m-not-sure-what’s-happening sort of way). And all in all, I think I coped with that mess pretty well. It was rough, but there were some lovely moments in which our household really enjoyed one anothers’ company, our neighbors reached out to support us, and the universe came together to help me find the perfect forty dollar Craigslist couch. We got through it.
But here’s the thing – I think my grandmother might be dying. And that’s a difficult thing that is unlike a flood, or a stolen bicycle, because it’s not something I can fix. It won’t get better. I won’t look back on it two years and laugh. It will remain a hard thing, a difficult and sad part of life – Loss. Grief. Uncertainty. Suffering.
My grandma Becca, who is the feistiest and most iron willed person I know, fell and broke her hip the night after the flood, just at the end of July. It was only days before her ninety first (91st!!!) birthday. My mom and dad live right near her (and cared for her at home for many many years – she had only recently gone to live at a memory care home), and my sister made the trip from New Orleans to help care for her, but I’ve been so overwhelmed by everything happening to my house and life in North Carolina that I still haven’t made it down to see her. I have a lot of guilt about that. It has been six weeks, and she’s getting worse instead of better, and so tomorrow I am taking our remaining car and hitting the road for Charleston, because the one thing I know about getting through difficult days is that they are better weathered together, with one’s family. I don’t think she knows who I am on a good day, but I think she knows that she loves me, and that I love her. I want to see her, and soak up as much time with her as I can, and to try to be a help to my parents, to what small degree I can, because they have done an amazing job of caring for her on their own for so very many years. This is a photo of brighter days, because it represents hope, and the promise that life won’t always be this difficult. I wish that every day could be this beautiful, this hopeful, this full of friendship and laughter and sunlight and lake, but in these darker and more difficult days, I’m taking charge of the one thing I can change – I’m going to make sure that our family gets some time together, to cope and to hug and to soak up each other’s presence, and to be there for my grandma, who is very very loved.