“I have a theory,” Grandma started. “Wise words are about to be spoken” Mom said as she looked over at me. “No,” Grandma replied, “this is going to shock you.” Mom snickered. “Ok.” Grandma turned her head to look out the window. “I think Bob loved Aunt Barbara more.” Grandma began. “He thought she was perfect.”
Have you ever watched a soap opera, movie, t.v. show, where someone is on their death-bed and they spill some big family secret? Well, that’s what happened. But this time, it was happening for real, in real life. She went on to tell us how they, Grandpa and Aunt Barbara (Grandma’s sister) were always so embarrassed of her. They never cared for her sense of humor and told her to be quiet.
I have to admit, when I learned that Grandma wasn’t going to be around for much longer, I often wondered if some secret was going to come out, like the ones I had watched unfold on t.v. And yes, it did. As it was being said, I couldn’t believe it. One, because it was really happening, and two, because there actually was one.
The next morning on our way out, Mom and I had a seat on the hardwood floor. After sitting there for some time, I asked her, “Does your life make a little more sense now?” Mom nodded and proceeded to tell me how. “Do you remember anything that would make her ‘theory’ true?” Again, she nodded.
Although this process isn’t getting any easier, and doesn’t seem like it ever will, Mom and I are seeing little changes. We are both watching Mom grow into someone who she should have been, but never could have been until now. But now is what counts, right? No looking in the past. Grandma sure isn’t. “We don’t talk about that anymore” she says when the past is brought up. “You’re here now.”
Grandma, while Mom was out of the room, said to me, “I’m glad you two are here. I hope your mom likes me.” It might be a strange sentence to some of you, or to others, you completely understand. But you see, we three had a rough past together, and even though Grandma doesn’t want to talk about it, that’s what she knows. Mom, as best as she can in this time, is trying to change that. No, she is changing that. We laugh, and hug, and cry, and share with each other. That’s all we can do right now.
Grandma has another appointment up in Charlottesville next Thursday at UVA. This time, they’re going to evaluate her and try to come up with an answer as to how far along her ALS is. That’s all we can hope for right now, answers.
It doesn’t seem like we’re getting many of those lately…