Monday, January 31

that little phrase

My family still doesn't have help with my grandparents on the weekends, so last night it was my job to help grandma get to bed. It's funny, how taking care of them has become less of a "burden", and just more of part of my daily life. When they need lunch i make them lunch, i help my grandma paint her nails, i make grandpa his evening drink. Instead of caring for them being what i have to do, it's just what i do. We all live together, and right now i can't see myself doing anything else here. And when i'm not being yelled at (which is becoming less frequent, thank the Lord), it's almost pleasant. Of course there are other things i'd rather be doing...but that's not what life's about. And God is working in them, i think. They're both strict Catholics, as i've said before, and every once in a while we see a glimpse of some real understanding of the Lord in them.
So last night i needed to get grandma to bed. It's not a difficult task...once you know how to handle her, but it's a long one.
Mom said she was pretty much ready for bed...she was just doing little last-minute old lady things..."futzing around", as she put it. I walked into the bathroom to find grandma sitting in front of the mirror dressed in her nightgown, combing her hair with her shaky, delicate hands.
I asked if she was ready to go to bed. To which the answer was a 2-3 minute deliberation on whether or not to take her teeth out before she did so. She finally decided not to. So i helped her out of her chair, and mentioned that she should probably try to pee first. She said she didn't have to go. But it wouldn't hurt to try. Okay, she'd try.
I helped her sit down and all that. She lifted up her legs, her right one shaking much more than the left, as usual. She commented about how swollen her ankles were. "It's just awful", she lamented. I said that the sooner she got in bed and got her feet up the sooner the swelling would go down. She agreed, and i said,
"Just try to relax and pee, okay? I'll be back in a few minutes."
"okay, dear."
So i went and brushed and flossed etc. That took about 3-4 minutes and i went back to check on her.
I passed my snoring grandpa and poked my head in the bathroom door.
"How you doing grandma?"
"Oh, not too well. I'm afraid i didn't go at all...i just didn't have to."
"Well that's okay," i said and went to help her up.
As i fixed her nightgown, she mused, "I could have sat there until..." and she paused, thinking of what to say.
Suddenly we both said, at the same time, "...kingdom come."
and we had a little giggle.
Grandma continued to ponder the words. "...kingdom come...i wonder where...that came from...that little phrase..." she said half to herself.
I thought for a moment and as i stood her up straight i said, "maybe it means until the Lord comes back." and i began to lead her out of the bathroom.
She gave a little laugh. "Well," she smiled "that may be a while. Or maybe not...you just don't know."
I smiled back, "no, you don't."
There was a small pause.
"I sure would be happy to see him." She said. "He's such a dear."
I just about lost it in silent amusement at my grandma referring to Jesus...God... as "such a dear", and turned out the bathroom light.
She continued as we walked to the side of the bed, "I don't know if I'd have the nerve to look at him."
I sat her down and smiled at her. "I don't think you'd be able to help it."
"No, probably not!"
And with that, the conversation promptly turned to taking her nighttime meds, taking off her slippers, and getting her comfortable in bed...and all the while grandpa snored away.
As she laid there looking up at me, i asked if she was comfortable.
"Oh, yes, darling. Thank you. I'm so grateful," she closed her eyes. As she opened them again, she looked at me, "I'm so thankful to have such a beautiful granddaughter." And she paused for a moment, "you really are beautiful," she said.
I gave her a sort of sheepish smile, "thank you, grandma," i said softly, "good night." I turned off the light.
"Good night, darling, thank you. God bless you."

5 minutes later, the call bell rang, and my mom and i went to their room.
"I think i need to go pee," grandma said to us as we stood in the doorway.
Mom looked at me with a knowing smile and asked, "could you help her, so i can get to bed?"
Of course i could.


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1 comment:

peregrin said...

highly encouraging and edifying.