For those of you that don’t know, I live in the “In-laws Suite” behind my granny’s house. I go over to eat, sit, and chat with her about 4 times a week but that is about to change. After today’s events I am going to try to see her everyday. Hell, I could throw a rock from my porch and break her bedroom window so going to see her everyday shouldn’t be a task [even though she let’s some of the most crazy, offensive, and belittling stuff come out of her mouth at times. Some stuff I wouldn’t even say…]. Today my grandmother called over and asked if I’d like to go out to eat with her, her treat. I said “sure”. A friend of mine’s was over so I informed her that she would be joining us. She immediately began to retract her offer out of respect for my company but I insisted that it was okay and that it was not a problem. We all packed up into my car and headed to AppleBee’s. In route, my grandmother randomly said “Before I called over there to you I told myself, I said Mary: you should just keep your old, ugly self from over there in that boy’s business” I almost stopped the car in the middle of the street. I immediately let her know that spending time with her was not a burden but a joy of mine and that anytime [I made sure to reiterate anytime] that she wanted to see me I was only a phone call away. She nodded and we all rode in silence for a while. I was/am awe stricken. I am almost in tears just thinking about it.
I, being the analytical person that I am, have been trying to break down the causes and mindset of a person that says the things that she said in reference to herself. No one just says those type of things about themselves out of the blue. There is an issue[s] behind it. I’m not a psychologist or anything but the first thing that comes to mind is neglect. My granny feels neglected. I have been away for two years in North Carolina but every time that I came home I would stop through to see her. This “environment” of neglect didn’t just happen. She has to have felt neglected over time. That is why I am making it my point to see her everyday now.
The second thing that I think may be causing her to say the things she said is the feeling of uselessness. I believe that my granny no longer feels like she is making a contribution to society or our family. Every so often she offers to cook for me but I usually decline because I don’t want to be a burden to her. I also want to prove to her that I am okay on my own. Now I see that her offers to cook for me are more about her feeling useful. I remember a time in our family when most of us would gather over my granny’s house every Sunday to eat at after church. Now she barely cooks. There was also a time where she’d watch most of the children of the family. That would probably still be going on but all of the children grew up.
These are just my assumptions. Even if I am wrong I do know for a fact that there is an issue. If today’s events would not have happened I would have never known. I know that I am getting really deep into my family business but I am doing so because I know that my situation is not unique. By telling my story I might help someone else see the signs of what I believe to be the beginning stages of depression in their elders. Our elders have so much wisdom to offer us and they just want to know that they are loved and valued. Take time out of your “busy” schedule to spend time with the elders in your life. Too many times in our community we neglect out elders; but when they have moved on we want to jump in the ground behind them. It’s not right. I am giving my granny “flowers” while she can still appreciate them. Do the same for your elders. My granny will be a beautiful 74 years young soon and I plan on spending as much time with her as I can. I know those few moments will brighten her days. I know what I am saying is cliche but I promise it is different when you experience it. I may say a lot of things that can be disregarded but please don’t let this be one of them.Peace yall…
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