Monday, September 13

Grace's daughter

My mother's mother was named Grace. As I wrote a little
bit about her at The Bower a few days ago, I found myself
writing "Grace's daughter" when I mentioned having to end
the post to go and pick up my mom from respite care. Ever
since, that way of thinking about my mom has been running
through my mind and my heart.

Choosing to take my mom under our wing was our
natural (tho' weighty) response to her her children,
also simply as humans reacting with compassion, I believe
(Does that sound too simplistic? For I know you can be filled
with great compassion for someone in the same situation and
not make the same decision...)...there were many layers.

Now there is a new one, because now I think of my
grandmother, watching me care for her daughter.
That is a new and beautiful-and sobering idea. My
mother, seemingly unquestioningly, took care of my
grandmother in our home for the last nine or ten
years of her Grandma Grace did not have
dementia, but she had had a leg amputated and
my grandfather had died a year before she came to us,
so she couldn't live alone in St. Augustine any longer.
Probably alot of questioning went into the decision-
making and the living out of it....I was in my teen years
and didn't pay attention to those undercurrents.

The dementia makes it a very different sort of
experience for me than my mom had with her mother...
and yet, my mom took care of her mom...and because of
that, I got to know my grandmother more deeply than I
would have otherwise. And it is comforting and
strengthening to me to think that I now have
Grace's daughter in my care and can feel Grace's
approval and love.

1 comment:

Kim Brown said...

Hi Lesley

Your insights into this great wheel of human generations is very profound. So often parents wonder when their children are young if they will ever understand the heart of adults, and of course, they will! We take our place on the Great Mandella (a line from an old Peter Paul and Mary song I liked). I love the image of your grandmother watching you care for her daughter. It's such a moving image, more so because it is real, and you are actually doing it. And your family is watching you as well, and things shift as we get older and take our place as elders, and our children are no longer as young, and we see them growing into adulthood. It's all very sobering isn't it? And beautiful.

Love you Lesley, and wish you every blessing on this chapter of your life.

Big hugs