Tuesday, October 23, 2007

As the Years Go By

This past weekend we had the opportunity to travel north a bit to spend the weekend with my mother who is recovering from surgery. The surgery revealed that her condition was not as bad as it could have been (Praise God!), and now she begins rehab. for her mobility.

We also had the pleasure of seeing my grandmother who had flown in from North Dakota (!) to take care of my mother. She made my favorite childhood meals--Beef Stew with Dumplings and special caramel rolls. Delicious!

Spending the weekend with grandma, I noticed that she seems to feel out of place. She kept looking for things to do, and is getting frustrated with: 1)the lack of projects to undertake and 2)the limitations she faces as she ages.

I have memories of grandma coming to visit and basically taking over the house. She ran a tight ship and we all learned to mind our manners! She undertook multiple sewing projects, cooked all the meals, helped my mother clean and organize the house, and would entertain quite easily.

In the last several years, in her hometown in North Dakota, she has taken on new roles. While maintaining her home and vegetable garden, she also took in boarders. She volunteered at the local elementary school to read with the children; she joined a "Toastmaster" group (oratory club), and assisted at the Senior Center, spending time with the Ladies and doing their hair for them.

Grandma has always been active, and now with her children in their 50s, her grandchildren almost all married off, and the great-grandchildren pouring in, she is a little overwhelmed.

Now in her mid-80s, she is starting to have some balance issues, hearing loss, and vision problems. This limits her on what she has always done--care for those around her.

She sees herself as useless, idle, and a burden.

Doesn't our society see people this way? When they cease to be useful, they have no worth. Whether that be in the womb, disabled, or elderly.

This is when I want to cry out, "No! You do have worth! Who you are, not what you do. You have an intrinsic dignity that is not stripped away or voided when you cease to be "useful" by society's standards. You are more that USEFUL! You are created in the image and likeness of God and bring that image wherever you go."

This is the latest "image" of my grandmother. During her visit, we convinced her to sit in the sun for a bit. So here she is sunbathing. I've already posted this on our family website so my numerous cousins and second-cousins, aunts and uncles, and random other people can view, She, who started us all.


antonia said...

aw! God Bless your grandmother.

and yes, sadly the mentality that people's value is in direct proportion to what they can 'DO' for us, is very big result of original sin.

ps- hope your mom recovers well

deb said...

I miss my grandmother so much. She brought me up, so she was a big part of my life.