Thursday, January 17, 2013

"As My Grandmother Sleeps"

My grandmother is 86 years old.
86 years of books and letters.
86 years of experiences, good and bad.
86 years of being.

She sleeps a lot now.
It's part of the dementia.
Slowly she is drawing away.

When she awakes I like to sit with her.
I make jokes about commercials with elephants in them.
"You don't need medicine for an elephant. You need a zookeeper."
She laughs.

She asks me to explain what's on the news.
I make up crazy explanations.
"He's really a Martian. That's why Oprah wants to interview him."
She laughs.

Mostly we are quiet.

I give thanks for the time we've had together.
Time talking about politics.
Time talking about religion.
Time talking about our family.
Time listening to learn about my past.
Time spent over ice cream and instant ice tea.
Time spent timelessly.

Valuable time.
I did not know how valuable the time I had with her was.
Now.... I do.

If now were then, she'd listen.
She'd offer advice.
She'd ask questions and clarify.
She'd encourage and build up.
She'd tell me to do good and help people.
Through her God would heal.

But now is now.
Now is different.
Time is short.
I am here for her.
Because she "is" and we "are" I am here.

So I sit quietly and wait for my grandmother to awake.
Soon, we will sit together.
I'll will make her laugh.
Mostly we'll be quiet.
That is enough.

Through her God does heal and I give thanks.