My grandma Lucy has finally come home from the nursing facility. We weren’t sure if she would ever come home again, but after 3 weeks she is doing so much better. I knew she wanted to see my boys so after I picked them up from school we went to see her.
My 10 yr. old, who is a ham and loves to entertain anyone that will give him the time of day, loves to ham it up for my grandma. He loves being able to make her laugh and smile. My 13 yr. old, in typical teenager fashion, would rather be home playing video games. Though he no doubt loves my grandma, visiting her when she can’t hardly hear anymore and she can no longer see him is just not at the top of a 13 yr. old’s list of fun things to do. Everytime we go, I give him the regular talk about how important it is for my grandma to have him there, even if it’s just for a little bit. I always tell him to try and be present when visiting with her and to remember that she’s 90 and may not be around much longer.
Because we are so busy and to make the best of our time, the boys brought in their homework to do while we were there. I figured 30 minutes or so and we would head home but instead, that was not to be. What transpired during the next hour and a half was quite magical.
My grandma was quite animated, probably because she was so happy to be home. She started talking about how important family is and how important it is to know where we came from. This intrigued my 13 yr. old who is a history buff. He asked questions and she answered. His homework was pushed aside as he leaned forward, elbows on his knees, taking in everything she had to say. When I mentioned that we should head home, he shook his head. Not yet, he said.
The two of them, my 90 yr. old grandma and my 13 yr. old son, we’re in their own world. She captured him with her stories of our ancestors (like the one where Davy Crockett gave a piece of land to her great, great-grandfather) or how some of our family came from Europe via Ellis Island.
I cannot tell you how moved I was by all of this. Who knew it took the gift of family history to bond the two of them? Instead of seeing my sullen teenager, I was seeing a glimpse of the young man I know he will become and it was priceless. When it came time to leave, my grandma had tears in her eyes. Thank you for listening, she told my son as she hugged him. He thanked her for sharing with him and made a promise to come back with his video camera so he could tape her telling her stories. What a fantastic idea! And what a gift…for all of us.