I found out yesterday that my aunts are having a surprise birthday party for my grandmother at the end of the month. It’s on a Sunday, a 3-hour drive from where I live. I opened up the invitation and sighed audibly. My first thought was that I didn’t want to go. We have a prior commitment for that Saturday night, which would mean gettting up early on Sunday, driving 3 hours for the party, and then driving 3 hours home late that night, and getting up early for work the next day.
Then it hit me. She’ll be 80. She’s been in poor health (although good spirits) for years. What if, God forbid, this is the last time I would see her before she dies? Am I the most ungrateful little brat to think that her party is an inconvenience in MY life? My grandfather passed away 11 years ago and she’s been on her own ever since. My dad and aunts don’t live all that far away and do what they can for her–shoveling snow, taking her to doctors appoinments and the store, etc. And here I am, one of only six grandchildren, debating on whether I should go to her party or not. We have such a small family, and I’m beginning to realize that she’s at a point in her life where she feels that her family is all that she has left.
And someday I will be 80 and wishing that my grandchildren would show up at MY party. Except that my grandchildren will probably still be in diapers then because I’m 33 and no-damnit-I-don’t-have-children-yet-thank-you-very-much-for-asking. But that’s a story for another post.
So we’re going. And somehow we’re squeezing in a visit to my other grandparents (my mom’s parents) while we’re there.