I flew out, last minute, on a whim to meet my other half...I never really knew my father's side of the family, nor did I really know him. I bring nothing with me and just hop on the plane. I call my friend to pick me up from the airport. The stress alone...almost did me in.
I met my grandmother, it is like a long lost memory, that I just plucked from a flower. She is very old now. My grandparents raised me for about 5 to 6 years, while my parents, who knows what they were doing, dumped me there and picked me up - as if I was dropped off at daycare, but 6 years later. The last time I saw my grandmother was about 15 years ago. The last time I spoke to her was about 21 years ago. I was an emotional wreck. I decided to stay with her, only for one night and day. It brought back emotions and memories that have been long stored away. Feeling like I found a piece of my heart. It was very emotional for two of us. The biggest problem we face now is the language barrier. I used to speak her language and she used to speak mine. Since we haven't talked to each other, we stopped speaking each other's language.
I've asked her to come and visit me and possibly let me care for her, at the end of her life. But realistically, how can I ask someone that I haven't seen in so many years to pick up and leave? The rest of her family and friends are where she lives. But they don't physically care for her. She lives alone in a small apartment, part of a senior center home [imagine "In her Shoes" with Cameron Diaz]. But she acts so strong, she can walk on her own and make her own food still. As we spent more time together, I find that no one massages her aching hands and feet. No one helps her groom her nails. I felt so overwhelmed by the need to take care of her, as she did me. Of course, I didn't even ask my husband, but I sent her a letter that I translated into her language asking her to come and visit [at least]. I miss her now that I have found her. I don't even know how to describe my feelings about it.
I find that my cousins, her grandchildren, don't spend any time with her, but see her maybe once or twice a year. They consume all of their time on becoming that successful doctor. One of her three daughters take on the responsibility for caring for her. I feel that she is somewhat lonely, but she spends a lot of time at the Senior Center.
When my mother's mom got old, we didn't put her in a home, one of my aunts took care of her at her home until she passed away two years ago. I guess it is part of our culture to take care of our elders. How much longer can they live? This is like when we were a baby, who cared for us? Our parents. As our parents get old, who will take care of them? I guess some of us think our children will and some of us just knows that in the end, we might just end up alone.
My grandfather passed away about 20 years ago. So my grandma does not have a companion. Who should care of her?
As I suffer from lupus, my husband and daughter are constantly caring for me. I can't imagine what hardships they both go through for me. But here I am, trying to care for another. I am not sure if I can do anything anymore. I haven't been able to make any decisions without "thinking" it out too much. The confusions as to what I want and may want. I have become a totally different person. I don't think that I could be as strong as my grandma.