As I take some time away from Canberra and the business I have had a very profound and moving day.
Today I did a quick trip from Bendigo to Echuca to see my grandmother who has been in a home for many years, and sadly, she has lost nearly all of her faculties, which must be hard for my dad and his sister to see each week they visit her.
I have not seen her for several years, as I didn’t want to have the memory of my ‘gran’ as being one of these surroundings, and have been taunted by the fact that I didn’t or haven’t gone to see her. This was all multiplied a few weeks ago, after another trip to Bendigo, where I thought about going to see her, but didn’t as I made the ‘not enough time’ excuses, only to get a call when back home that she may not make it through the night. This tore at my emotions of guilt and regret and the fact that I hadn’t seen her and may not get the chance to do so again.
Fortunately she has pulled though this and although you could argue it may be best if she didn’t, as it isn’t a great life, this gave me another opportunity. So on this trip I made sure that I went to see her today.
Dad and I drove up to Echuca and saw her and she had glimmers of smiles, even said a few words that were comprehensible and at times, I thought maybe she had recognised me. It brought back many memories of my childhood where I would spend many school holidays with her and my cousins, who I have lost that close bond with over the years, and the great fun and adventures we had at her house, which was so old, and big and full of hidden mysterious things to do and find (even in the rooms we kids weren’t supposed to go in). It is nothing like the childhood our kids have today where they roam freely anywhere and everywhere in homes and other people’s homes, with no limits. Not sure if this is good or bad, but it has certainly changed. I was of the ilk where kids only did as they were told and where with the ‘adults’ when it was appropriate. Failing this you would be outside in the yard finding things to do, exploring the neighborhood or in the back shed fossicking through my grandfathers WWII closes chest (again knowing we shouldn’t be). It was a great hour of re-living internally my childhood.
I know this post has nothing to do with business, and has no relevance but I felt the need to get some personal expression off my chest. Seeing her in such a vulnerable state, so frail, so weak, so oblivious to all around her mostly, was not only sad, but shows the full circle of life. Watching others in the room laid out on stretcher beds, playing with soft toys, all alone and unaware of their surroundings surely asks the question about the right to go with dignity. It was sad, yet still no regrets were had. I am so glad I got one more chance to be there and hold her hand.
I am so, so glad I went to visit you today Gran….I have always and will always love you, and hope you continue as long as you need without suffering, and when the time comes to leave, you will do so with dignity. xxxx Tony