Today, I spent the day with my grandparents. A few days ago, I said I was dying for a soft ice cream cone. When I had mentioned it to a friend, they replied, “what are you, five?” I explained, “no I am not five years old, far fucking from it, but you go without when you do not have.”
We visited my grandfather’s brother in a nursing home. I must say, I fully believe in physician assisted suicide because who wants to live like that? I have never visited a nursing home. The screaming, the insanity, the smell, only had me hoping I die young without needing anyone to wipe the drool from my mouth.
Mind you, my grandfather has one leg and is in a wheelchair and my grandmother uses a cane. They are in full capabilities mentally and have to be two of the most selfless people I am related to. We all went for ice cream because they are physically restricted and do not get out much. We all enjoyed it and it is the simple things in life that a cost $6.63 to make three people happy.
I am financially restricted and am proud to say that I only took $10 from them throughout the course of my never-ending unemployment. I had to shovel blocks of ice that were heavy and I was aggravated. The $10 I took because it was hard work and they knew it. I have to keep them safe from falling and I try to protect them from the family capitalist.
Listening to them, there are two sides to every story and their stories sometimes have cracks and I hone in on the cracks and dig. Throughout the past week, I have learned that they keep a log of family members visiting them. Sadly, some only visit when they need money. I walk in and always say, “Who comes here when you need me, not when I need you?” I am in need and they know it, but just like them I am stubborn and I will be the one that did not take anything from them.
They write down how many days have lapsed from your last visit. They also write down the intent of your visit. Was it to say hi, was it to help the, or their most favorite act of when people ask them for money. I was punished once because I was sick and did not want to give them a viral infection, therefore, food they had purchased for me was Indian given. We have a very open relationship where I can tell them I am still pissed about that. Tomorrow is another fun-filled day and I look forward to it because we have fun. I laugh more with them than I do anyone else.
I also have them respect my boundaries. I say no if I can’t help and say it can wait until tomorrow. I hope I get to teach them things as they have taught me. 40 years and I still have them. Physically they have aged, but my grandfather will still give me the middle finger and crack jokes about me. My grandparents are epic and I want to give them the simple joys that they cannot get. Do we argue? Absolutely, but we love each other. I do what I can for them in my capacity and we laugh.
Sometimes I may only have a few minutes and some days I may have a few hours. I am honest with them because the wool has been pulled over their eyes for too long. I refuse to be there for them in my time of need, but will be there in their time of need because they need to get out and live more. You only have one life and despite their impatience and stubbornness, I can tell them when they drive me nuts. I must say I am excited to hang out with them tomorrow. They do not ignore me like so many others have opted to. I certainly cannot turn my back on them now.