Monday, July 10, 2006

Family Is Forever

...or so says the crocheted poster in Grandma's living room.

Here's the thing: I had a great time visiting my grandma.

This "great time" was completely unexpected, as I had anticipated being slightly annoyed and mildy irritated all weekend. But it turns out that it was fantastic...

She was right where she said she'd be (when she finally called and left a voice mail on my cell phone about three hours before I was supposed to arrive and told me where she'd meet me at the airport), she hardly drank all weekend, and she made sure that I had enough to eat. My gosh, she even turned down my bed in the guest room! She came into the living room at about midnight on Saturday and said, "I've turned down your bed." Totally unexpected.

I had fun talking with my aunt, although she did most of the talking.

I realized how like my family I am, and for a girl who sort of looks like no one and everyone at the same time, it's a nice feeling to have that link. I know that I am my father's daughter, but I also learned that he is very much his mother's son. He didn't particularly like hearing that he's not the black sheep of the family (as much as he prides himself on being so different), but it's true. He's part of that family - he even looks like them.

The hard part was seeing my grandpa. He's in a "behavioral health" facility, and he's not really mentally there anymore, although there are some looks that he cuts that make it look like he's about to say, "Why am I here? I shouldn't be here? I should be at work, fueling planes and bossing people around." As a matter of fact he told my grandma that he could take the day off on Wednesday...she told him she'd be coming to pick him up for a dentist appointment and he said, "Okay, I can get off."

I think he's really confused but at least he's not as scared as he seemed to be a few years ago, when he was still aware enough to know that his mind was gradually slipping away.

I was happy to come home to my own little family and our own odd little ways, but it's also nice to know that I inherited my irrational fear of escalators from my great-grandma.

In any case, I had a good time, and it was actually really good to get away and keep my mind of things.

I'll give an update on those things is about family.

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