Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Old people

Yesterday I met up with my darling grandma and grandpa. They are the cutest, but most exhausting old couple you'll ever meet. My grandmother (Nanie) is madly in love with my daughter and calls often to see how she is and what she is doing at that moment. She just loves her and it always feels good to be around people who are as fond of your kid as you are. Hannah loves her great grandmother and indulges her with kisses, hugs, giggles, and won't even come to me when she has her Nanie. So we met up at my mom's house which is a good half way spot for both of us.

At the sweet old couple's arrival we exchanged hugs and kisses and Hannah immediately took Nanie as her new favorite person and played and was in a state of bliss. Grandpa (Papa Henry) has suffered from several brain hemmorages and is not the same man he once was. My grandma now wears the pants and bosses him around mercilessly. For the most part he just puts up with it. She nags him to comb his hair, fix his pants, fetch her whatever she wants, pick up the dog sh** (her words not mine), and tells me just about every time I'm with them that she has put him on a diet.

So, after visiting at my mom's house, we all loaded up my little car and went to lunch. We decided we all wanted "sangwidges". Oh yeah, my family has it's own dialect at times. Sangwidges = sandwiches, spoom = spoon, chilgren = children. It used to drive me nuts when my grandmother would say grace before a meal and thank the Heavenly Father for her chilgren, and her chilgren's chilgren. We all ordered our sangwidges (Mimi's has an awesome veggie sandwich - so good), and Nanie was pestering my dear old Papa to not eat too much. This is pretty much where he draws the line. You don't mess with his meal. I try to mediate, and tell her that it's really not that much food. Let him eat his tuna and avocado in peace. Thankfully Hannah diverted her attention so Papa scarfed up the rest of his lunch, leaving a few fries.

While I sort of take my Papa's side, I can't imagine having to take everything on like my grandmother has. Papa took care of everything. He did the banking, any type of handy work, and even pumped the gas for my grandma's car before she took it out. Then one day all of it was gone with horrible seizure and a type of annurism. He gets angry some days. He'll find a receipt for something with a large purchase and be irate that my grandmother is mismanaging all his money. He doesn't know what day it is (which, heck, sometimes I don't either) and is getting increasingly clumsy. But I have to say I admire the pair. Nanie and Papa Henry have been married for over 55 years. Like any marriage, there is a better and a worse involved. I don't want to overly romanticize them, they are like every one else. But there is hope in seeing an ancient couple still bickering, yet still having moments of grace, hoosing to let him eat all his meal without further complaint and enjoy holding a baby. Just letting stuff go...

When Jason came home that afternoon after work he held Hannah and said she smelled like an old lady.


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