I don’t mind telling you, I was nervous about visiting Gigi.
As you may recall, my grandmother, whom we call Gigi, has been having memory issues — as well you might when you’re 89. She’s had a couple of incidents where she drove somewhere and could not remember how to get home. After finding her myself this fall driving around my neighborhood, looking for my house, I fell into the camp that thought perhaps she should not be driving. She continues to this day.
With my parents leaving for the month, I started to feel tremendous pressure about being her only relative within 127 miles. You know, give or take. I started to worry about how she was doing daily. Would I have to go get her somewhere? Would I have to peer in the windows every day to make sure she was okay? I wondered if I needed to have a tantrum with my father about this. I have tried to avoid tantrums with my father as much as possible. I rarely come out the winner.
I kept reminding myself, “She is your grandmother. It is four weeks. You are over 40. You can handle this.” But as the time grew nearer for my parents to go, I felt more and more anxious.
Not quite the night before they were to leave, I tried explaining to my father how nervous I was. He suggested that I come with him to do a simple bank errand with her. I did, and it was a confusing time — the date, the amounts, the bank. I wasn’t sure Grandma even knew who I was.
When we were done, as I got out of the car my dad asked me, “Do you feel better now?”
I looked at him in the eye and said, “No. No, I don’t.”
I did not add, “Thanks for abandoning me.”
So it was with trepidation, Brent and I set off for Gigi’s on Saturday. I didn’t know if she would recognize me. I wore an “L” pendant just in case. I wanted to give her as many clues as possible.
We walked up to the door and rang the bell. She came to the door and looked at me confusedly.
Oh, no. She doesn’t know who I am.
Then she broke into a smile. “Hello, dear! I’m alive! You’re here to do your father’s bidding. I don’t know why he is so worried.”
I was laughing really hard at this point. “I don’t know either, Grandma, but I am glad to come visit.”