When Nana makes you check yo’self

We’re not going to be around forever. And even while we’re still breathing, we won’t always be capable of doing the things we do now. Even when things seem sucky, we really have to push ourselves to soak up everything we can and utilize all our senses.

I was reminded of this today when I went to see my nana. She turns 94 in a couple weeks and is pretty bummed these days. Remember how I would always write on this blog about our Sunday outings, her love of face cream and bright lipstick? Our five hours trips to the mall so she could either buy or return her fancy outfits?

Last week she fell out of her bed while she was sleeping, she’s been in the hospital since. She HATES  the hospital. She is very independent. Today when I arrived, I found her fully dressed, sitting in her wheelchair next to her bed watching the rainy day commence. She should have been in the bed, resting, but it was the middle of the day and didn’t want to be there. She wanted to be upright, like the rest of the world.

I told her that as soon she gets out, we’d go out on a shopping adventure again. I’ve been traveling a lot and haven’t been out with her in months. It’s been itching at my spirit. I miss her. I’m anxious to have my nana time, you know?

But her reply made my heart stop.

“Mija, I can’t anymore…”

“What? Why not?”

“Because I’m tired. Do you know they weighed me yesterday and I’m down to 90 pounds? I can’t gain weight. I just don’t have the energy to do what we used to do. I can’t walk around the mall like I used to. I’m done. I’ve lived my life and it was a good one, I’m so tired, I’m ready to go.”

“Nana, don’t talk like that!” I answered. But you know what? In my heart and mind, I understand where she is coming from. She led a full life of travel, glamor, family, cooking, all of it and now she feels trapped because she is at the mercy of people taking care of her. To this day, she isn’t even on any medication. Her mind is still there, sharp as always, but her body is weak and fragile.

“I can’t do any of the things I like,” she said. “I can’t watch TV because it’s blurry, plus my hearing is terrible. I can’t read books, or go out shopping, aye, I’m just tired. Every day I’m so very tired.”

I know she was having a down day, we have a big family and hopefully between all of us we can cheer her up and help her heal faster. We have to get her out of this mindset.

But today really made me take a hard look at the big picture of everything around me. Just when I think I have things figured out, I see there is so much more, I’m still learning as I go. That’s what keeps life interesting, right?

I don’t want to gripe or mope about silly things anymore, I want to use that time to live and love. Tonight I made my own action list and am going to cut back on filler stuff to make room for the important things: making awesome memories! Nana makes me appreciate my body and all the things I can do with it, even in its chubby state. I want to try and do things I never thought I could, like sing (ha ha, maybe NOT sing) – how about riding a bike again? I want to take action on my big dreams and stop procrastinating with them.

As  I left her room, there was a glimmer of hope. I turned around to wave goodbye. She lifted her hand, smiled brightly and blew me a kiss – and then made a quick sporty spin in her wheelchair to get around the corner of the bed.

“Hmmm,” I thought. “What she needs is a Rascal Scooter! Maybe the trip to the mall isn’t out of the question after all!”

Please get well soon, Nana, I love you!

Love & light,


11 Responses

  1. What a lovely tribute to a woman of substance from another. You know, it is easy to get so caught up in the minutiae of our lives and forget what a gift each moment provides.

    As long as we’re here, we’re all still learning. Keep on shining, friend. I can’t think of anyone I know who lives life with more passion than you.

    Love
    Margot

  2. This really hit close to home for me and could not have been more timely! My Father has not been in his house since Feb. 1st due to health issues. He has been in either the hospital or the rehab center since then. As recently as 2 weeks ago, Dad had a positive attitude. Last Friday (Mar. 16) we learned that Dad has Shy Drager syndrome, which is similiar to Parkinson’s & has no cure. Yesterday, Dad called & told me “I don’t think I’ve got much longer.” This shocked me to hear Dad talking like this, it just isn’t like him.

    Like you, I’m also learning as I go. I learned plenty of things that I didn’t wish to when I lost my Mama 2 1/2 years ago. Now I’m learning even more about the end of life, a subject that most of us would rather be blissfully ignorant about! – Gail

  3. Your Nana has lived on her terms which is so great. I hope that is what I have to look forward to.

    My husband’s stepdad Ray has been living with us for over a year now. He’s 92 and his body is in great shape. But he has forgotten everything (he calls me Isabelle. One day I said, “Ray, my name is Eileen.” He says, “Well, who the hell is Isabelle?” who knows?) It’s sad, frustrating, funny, involves cleaning up a lot of stuff you would rather not, restrictive, humbling and just… LIFE!

    But it sure makes you think about how you want to live NOW. Kathy I am with you- I’m going to buy a bike and ride free.

  4. I think it also shows how important it is to document our journeys. Either thru journals or blogs, make sure our stories are known, that when we were “all together” here, we made a difference! I remember videotaping my dad tell his stories and I’m so glad I did, they are priceless…

  5. Kathy your post really hit home with me. My dad is very ill right now and I am making changes to my life so that I can be there for him. It is both sad and exciting at the same time because while I was growing up I had to share my dad with a very jealous stepmother. She passed away 6 years ago and it has allowed my dad and I to get to know one another. It breaks my heart that he is ill but my time with him will be that more precious. My grandmother raised me and she has been gone for many years. I miss her so much! Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

  6. I know how she feels. I sure hope she can cheer up soon. My friend and I rent scooters when we want to go to fairs and such because we know that in 10 minutes we would be done without them. The scooters are awsome. Just be careful on the rabbit setting. I know they really don’t go super fast, but you could definitely run people over with them. Not thet it is not fun yo yhink about some times. LOL
    The last 2 days I decided to drill holes in thimbles. Super fibro flare up! I am so upset right now. I can barely handle the feel of my clothes touching my body.
    I sure love reading your posts. Give Nana a hug for me and definitely get a scooter.

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