My grandma of nearly 84 years is staying with me for twelve days while JD is in the Philippines. She is mother to five, grandmother to seventeen, and great grandmother to twenty seven. Grandma knows a thing or two about babies.
Well, with the exception of the swaddle. She still thinks I am being cruel when I wrap Claire in her little burrito.
I do it anyway. She likes it.
Living with an 84 year old woman is like living through 84 years of history, snippets at a time. Stories flow from grandma hour to hour, with little regard to chronology. At breakfast she talks about one of her favorite dishes growing up – rice pancakes – and a few hours later she recounts my grandpa’s death until both of us are crying in the living room. At dinner she gives me the rundown of my great grandparents and their parents, and when she closes the book she’s reading (one of three) at night, The Help, she sits back and talks about the sixties in Bakersfield.
What a gift.
I don’t want to talk, I want to listen.
She tells me I should write. I tell her I want to, but don’t know what to write about. She says I should write what I know. I tell her I’ll think about it.
What do I know anyway?
She doesn’t know it, but she is walking me through an important time in my life. I don’t really know the implications of it, but I know a story is unfolding and grandma, right now, is part of it.
For such a time as this… it says in the book of Esther…
I miss JD an awful lot. We are the attached-at-the-hip sort of couple. A few hours without JD and I start getting mopey. A few weeks is just plain hard. And while I’m counting the days until his return (4), I know June 1st will be bittersweet because grandma boards a plane home that day.
Until then, I’ll let her beat me at canasta every night while eating Belgium chocolate and talking about grandpa and those babies.