Wednesday, May 8, 2013

12,052 days of deep and abiding

I had my grandmother for 32 years, 364 days. That's 12,052 days in total. She died on 16 September, one day before I turned 33. Now, several years later, what I thought of then as the torture of caring for her at home, has returned in the challenge of caring for Mummy.

There are significant differences however. I adored my Granny. My Granny adored me. I never had to guess where I stood with her. When she was disappointed, you knew. When she was proud, you knew that too. But whatever the temporary state, it was overlaid on a bedrock of deep and abiding love. She loved you. Loving was what she did. It was who she was.

My mother on the other hand, well, she's never said the words (neither did Granny). Unlike Granny whose entire being bespoke love, Barbs was not like that and of course now, she can't be.

What I now know, is that the journey, the torture of caring for Granny at home, prepared me for the journey of caring for Mummy at home. What I know for sure is this: caregiving is a learned behavior. It is not natural. Don't let anyone tell you that it is. 

What I learned about caregiving, I learned at Granny's beside. There I discovered that what is painful is made both more so and less so, when viewed through a prism of deep and abiding love. 

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