By Renaissance Girl

I visited my grandmother yesterday for her 95th birthday.  It’s been a while since I’ve seen her.  She was in her bed by the window, mint green sweat suit with embroidered flowers peeking out from under the covers, hair in wild curls against the pillow.  I gave her a hug and kiss and said “Wow, Grandma, 95 – Happy Birthday!”  She smiled and answered “I know….., I don’t know what’s next from here.”  The comment caught me off guard.  It wasn’t depressed or negative, really just a musing but so much was held in those words.

We sat together and ate the pepperoni pizza that was her birthday request.  We talked about family and birds and books and food, and we talked about giving up her apartment and giving away her things and the fact that she might not actually be able to walk again.  The time went by fast and when it was time to go, I wanted to take her with me – to whisk her away from those sterile halls and build her a room full of color, surrounded by trees that birds could sing in. As I headed home, I pondered how our perspective changes from childhood to adulthood – how the things that seemed important as a kid, like who gave the best Christmas presents, which grandparent was the most “fun,” who let you eat candy – are along the way rendered irrelevant by a new awareness.  Here was a woman who suffered and kept going, who loved her husband and watched him die first, who raised her children with the best she could instill in them, who made mistakes and picked back up, and who loved her grandchildren and great-grandchildren with all her heart and now is graciously awaiting “what’s next from here.” Somehow I feel that, on her birthday, I got a gift too.









Photo By Kate Shannon


This entry was posted in Birthdays and Anniversaries, Love, Raising Children, Reflections by Renaissance Girl. Bookmark the permalink.

About Renaissance Girl

I moved to the Community with my family in 1988 when I was 10 - which gives away my current age! I am now a solemnly professed member - I work at Paraclete Press, the publishing arm of the Community and I love my job! I also sing in the choir Gloriæ Dei Cantores, and am a member of Elements Theatre Company and Spirit of America Band. As a Docent for the Church of the Transfiguration, I get to discover new things about the church every time I share it with someone else. When I'm not doing one of those activities, I love to spend time with my dog or my "extended family". There's a lot of variety in my life which keeps me energized - and I'm learning how to be more in the moment so whether I'm at a rehearsal, or making dinner in the kitchen with 5 girls, they all get 100% of me!

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