Thursday, April 30, 2015

Listening to Wanda

The other day I arrived at Mum's house. She had just gotten back from the day out at the football, she had taken Gran to watch my nephews play.

Gran was sitting in the car while Mum ran inside before dropping her back at the old folks home. The girls ran ahead of me into the house, and I almost did too. I noticed that old Wandy was still sitting in the car, and I couldn't walk straight past without thinking of her having to sit in the car by herself, alone. 

I felt guilty for almost walking straight past her and going inside. I didn't want her to think I had ignored her, and as oldies age I guess it must feel like the younger ones are forgetting about them. Her days above ground on this earth are numbered. She recently had shingles and I can see the toll it took on her. She is looking much paler and much more weathered. 

If she does go soon, I would have never forgiven myself for almost walking past that day. Now is the time to cherish her the most. 

My Gran still has a mind like a steel trap. She can recall stories of things that happened years ago, with so much clarity. Here I am, having listened to those stories and can't remember a word of them. 

What I do know is no matter how much she rambles on, I really do enjoy listening to her.

I visited her over the ANZAC day weekend with the girls, to see her. She was so glad to see us and didn't shut up. I guess it gets a bit lonely in there. She marvelled over how lovely the girls are. "Dear little things", she called them, and gave them most of her lollies. "But not the snakes", she piped up. "I like the snakes!".

She told me stories about the dementia patients, and how sorry she felt for them. Even though their antics were sometimes very entertaining. There is one old duck there that has dementia/alzheimer's and Gran says, she never stops walking, always going somewhere, (but nowhere really). She says she wished she could walk like that. Grans body is giving up on her. She can't even support her own weight on her pins. It seems it doesn't matter when you get old, either your body packs in first, or your mind.

She recalled one lady walked in to the common room with an armful of clothes. She immediately thought, hello, she's been in someones room and taken their clothes. Only to recognize a pair of her pants and realise it was her room she'd been into! 

While I was at the Mount Gambier hospital on Wednesday, visiting a fellow Mothers grouper who'd just had a baby, I overheard a telephone conversation at a nurses station. I heard my Grans name, and that she was being transferred from Millicent.

After I spent time with my friend and her new, gorgeous little girl, I dropped in on Gran. She's in the high dependency ward. She looked weak, and was having trouble talking, and catching her breath.

She was overjoyed to see me. I was as thankful as all hell, I overheard that phone conversation. I was so glad, not long after arriving, she had a familiar face. I lifted her hand and kissed it. I felt like crying, but didn't. She reassured me that it's not her time. But I can see that time is near.

I'm heading back to the Mount tomorrow, after I go to Pelican Point to vacuum all the bugs after the great surface spray of last week. We actually have a paid customer staying friday and saturday night! Woo hoo :) 

I'd better take old Wandy some lolly snakes. It's her 86th birthday next week. It's always around Mother's Day. My sister is coming over from Gippsland, I hope she gets to say goodbye.

A Parenting Life
Linking with Rhianna.
Thankful for overhearing a phone conversation


  1. Oh what a beautiful post, I am so glad you over heard that phone conversation. How awesome to still have your Gran around as well. Sadly mine are all long gone now. Wonderful that you treasure these moments with her. Thanks so much for joining in with #thankfulthursday xx

    1. I visited with her today, she was asleep when I got there just before lunch. The nurses woe her up, she had a few mouthfuls of mash potato and then exclaimed that she really felt like some fried chicken! I have informed Mum to take her some chicken tomorrow!

  2. Do you ever think to record or write down those memories ? At 79 mum hasnt got around to it and at 82 dad isnt capable.

    1. She gets so exhausted right now, I wish I had of done it earlier.

  3. It will be good to spend the time with her while you can. A beautiful post and message.

  4. Oh you have made me feel so guilty. My Mumma is 86 and I haven't seen her in a while. Life just gets busier and busier and I can't seem to get around to it. She does lot live close by.
    I like snakes too!

  5. How special , I miss my grandmothers - Nana .
    I hope your Gran is feeling better.
    I see the same ladies when we visit my MIL in Hostel care - sharp as a tack but also having mobility issues.
    Life has been so busy and I'm sorry I'm late to getting around to the linkups.

    1. She's back in town at our hospital. She had fluid in her lungs. I dunno whether she'll be put back in the old folks home or not.

  6. That's amazing you were able to overhear that phone conversation. I hope she'll enjoy those snakes x

    1. I walked past just at the right time. When I got there she said, and I quote, "Oh I have a hankerin' for some fried chicken. I've had it for about a week, and it's getting worse!". Funny old duck.


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