This may sound naive, but as I get older, I fail to realize that my family continues to age as well. I still see my dad as this on-the-go guy and my grandparents as the fun, involved and attentive people I always remembered. But this weekend, I realized that some family members, especially my grandparents, are getting older and it's finally starting to show.
On Thanksgiving, when I left my grandparents house, the sobering reality that the looked frail and well, old, really hit me and honestly, made me want to cry.
I might be hypersensitive to this because I'm not with them very much, but seeing that my grandparents were slowing down, having trouble hearing and sometimes understanding what I was saying, was really hard. My grandpa, who could command a room and easily entertain anyone around him, was having trouble scooping stuffing onto the plate and often had a delay in answering my questions.
And watching them reminisce about me as a child made me realize they don't have any recent memories to talk about as fondly because I'm not around very much.
Now, I feel overly worried about them, wanting to help them do any big or small task around their apartment, and generally feel guilty for not being around more. Because I live in Chicago, there's little I can do to change the latter, but the reality check I got at Thanksgiving was a little larger than expected.
So when I see them at Christmas. My plan is to remind them how much I love them, endure the repetitive questions and help them as much as possible. Somehow I feel that's the least I can do, even if it's not as much as I want it to be.
Has anyone else started to notice this trend with family members? If so, how have you handled it? Sorry this post is a little bit of a downer today, but I really thought it was important to talk about because I'm feeling like an awful granddaughter.