Friday, June 11, 2010
For some time now my grandmother has wanted to take a road trip to visit her sister an hour away and we have been putting her off. Not because of our personal issues but rather we felt the trip might be too much for her. At 91 an hour-long trip can leave her drained and sore.
This past week we received a call telling us her sister had had a stroke. I was called to assist in breaking the news to my grandmother, then if needed, to drive. By assisting in news breaking that meant standing in the hall waiting to hear my name called. Unlike the rest of my family I am not good at all with these situations.
But the news went easier than we thought and yes, she wanted to go. In fact she grabbed her walker, forgot her disco bag and declared, “I’m ready.” So loaded in the car, off we went and an hour later we arrived.
As we searched the maze of curtain walled cubicles we finally found my great aunts room. It was at the edge of her room I started to worry, I did not know what to expect. But as I pulled the curtain back for my grandmother to enter, that worry was replaced with a beautiful mental image.
It had been over a year since these two, my great aunt and my grandmother, had seen each other. But it was the look in their eyes when they finally did see each other that provided me a priceless image I will never forget.
When their eyes found each other, I swear neither of them felt any pain at that moment. My grandmother shuffled her walker to her sister’s bedside, faster than I’ve seen her move in years. As my grandmother leaned over to kiss her sister on the head I saw a tear rolled down my great aunt’s cheek.
The trip we had so worried about had been our mistake. It had in fact been just the opposite; it was medicine for the soul long over due. The despair of a lonely hospital room had been replaced with a sister’s love. How grateful I am to have been a part of this simple moment.
So the next time you find yourself making excuses about the simplest, seemingly unimportant deeds remember this story. Think of what beautiful mental image you may be denying yourself and go for it.