I took off six weeks between my last job and my next. I thought it would be a great opportunity to see some family, study for some professional exams, and relax before I am nailed with a hectic work schedule.
So right now I’m up in Connecticut visiting my grandparents, and some additional extended family, most of whom are old. It’s funny how things change as you get older. My grandparent’s house is smaller than I remember, in fact, my grandparents are smaller than I remember. Where I used to believe everything my grandfather told me and listen with intent to his stories, now I find my patience to be frayed while I internally question the validity of his advice, all the while fiddling with my Iphone.
My grandparents are in their 90’s and still love and admire them, they are wonderful people with good hearts and strong wills. Even at their age they live in a 3 story townhouse and go up and down the stairs multiple times a day. They believe they can still
do anything that they could do when they were younger and refuse to let anybody help them with anything. I love them with all of my heart, and it hurts me to see them in the pain that they’re in.
By my third day here, I was a little frustrated with being pent-up. I was walking past my grandparents room and I saw my grandmother in a chair looking at some coin books. When I asked her what they were for, she explained that they were books of commemorative state quarters that she’d been compiling for years. “One book for each grandchild” she told me. Five books total. My heart melted. It may seem like a small thing, but she’s made a hobby out of looking through her change to put something together for us, out of love.
Then came the kick in the gut. Her next line is “I’m trying to get them all done, but if I don’t finish them in time…” This is a sentiment that I have heard a number of times over my past ten days in the Constitution State (which should be renamed the Subaru state – seriously, I’ve never seen so many Subarus in one place in my entire life). My relatives have been making requests of me that have started with the statement “if we don’t see each other again”. It might be the saddest trip I’ve made. The saddest part is, there’s a good chance that they’re right.
I’ve never had to experience the death of a loved one, but this trip has certainly made me think a lot about it. I have done my best to make the most out of this trip and enjoy all of the time I have with my family – I’m not feeling good about leaving tomorrow.