08 June 2005

Life is Short

You know, at 26, I can't exactly claim that life is rushing by, but I am suddenly aware of the fact that it's almost mid-June.

My grandfather, at 88 + 1 day moved into a nursing home. He made the decision himself because he finally realized that he's not up to doing it all on his own. I went up the weekend of the move to help. The old house (that he built himself) essentially looked the same as it did on my last visit 6 years ago (bad granddaughter), but as Mom and I were cleaning, it was obvious thta this was not the house my grandmother (who died in 1996) kept. Things were getting worn and frayed, the vacuuming wasn't done, the laundry was done rarely, the fridge was scarcely stocked with low-quality foods. It made me sad that this is what it came to for him. Granny cooked grand meals -- mostly with boiled root vegetables, but she didn't skimp on anything.

It has occured to me that this didn't happen because Grandad is lazy or it's "just old age". It snuck up on him. One minute he was 23 and getting married, then he had 3 grown children, then he retired, then he had grown grandchildren.... Blink -- you're 88.

He was married for almost 55 years. And then he was alone. He didn't want to leave his house, his community, his church. He was comfortable where he was. And then it snuck up on him again. "I can't do this anymore."

And he shouldn't have to. After 88 years, he deserves to have someone cook for him, and help him with cleaning and laundry. The sooner he lets someone do this for him, the longer he'll be around.

I've been joking that I want to sign up for a home now, but in reality there's too much I want to do with my life.

I'm trying to learn to let go of the crap that's happened. I'm trying to be mindful of other people's feelings. I'm trying to relax and not fret over things I can't control (ha, ha). I know I can't do it all, I know I'll backslide all the time. But I know I need to do these things to make me happy.

Life is what happens when you're making other plans. I don't want to spend so much time planning that I miss the important moments; like sitting on the couch with deadwriter watching TV, talking and laughing with Foo, reading an e-mail from Nine, or chatting on MSN with Lani.

Life is laundry and grocery shopping.

It's student loans and credit card bills.

It's being late for work (every day) and staying late to make up for it.

It's fighting with your boyfriend/girlfriend/best friend/father/mother/brother/sister/whoever and wanting to punch them, but loving them anyway.

It's "I really meant to call, but forgot."

It's friends moving away -- to the other end of the province, the country, or the world.

It's your dog dying, even though he's the best thing that ever happened to you.

Life is full of shit, but without it, you wouldn't know how good you had it.

Life is short. And I don't want to waste anymore of it planning.


Me said...

I know what you mean...sometimes we get so wrapped up in things that we miss what is actually going on.

I had a little bit of a nostalgic moment yesterday. I bought some shreddies cereal and grabbed a handful while I was waiting for supper to cook. I had forgotten how much I like shreddies and how they make the neatest crunching sound inside your head as you eat them. It made me think of being little again, because my Dad and I used to eat Shreddies for breakfast with bananas. It reminded me of sitting with him in the breakfast nook reading the comics togther.

I miss being a kid.

Jenni said...

Awesome blog...Tis very true. We are going to have to hang out sometime soon now that I am in the city....I miss you!