Because Husband continued his one-man symphony of coughing, nose-blowing, and general moaning over the weekend, we had to cancel dinner plans with friends on Saturday. Instead, I went to help clean my grandparents' house.
I am a terrible granddaughter. I never call (even though I think about doing so on a weekly basis, right before wandering off to do something far more time-intensive and far less important, like finishing Season 8 of "Murder She Wrote"). I write notes only sporadically, if I've heard one of them is ill. They only live a half an hour away, but I never visit (again, J.B. Fletcher calls my name...). So taking the time to go with my mother to their home and work up a sweat, elbow deep in Clorox, made me feel slightly less like a terrible ingrate.
In fact, I hadn't been to their home in so long, that it was really quite shocking. While their home has never been a particularly peaceful sanctuary, it was always filled with fresh-baked goodies and familiar tchotchkes. I spent many days there as a child playing with my female cousin, celebrating family birthdays around the dining room table, canning tomato juice in the summers, and pulling taffy in the winters.
But now their home has become a reflection of their deteriorating minds - cluttered, illogical, frightening. My mother and I did our best, but we only managed to clean and organize three and a half rooms. As my grandmother once again wandered off, distracted, and my grandfather struggled to get up from his recliner, I wondered how much longer they could go on living independently.
While I do earnestly wish they would move to an assisted living facility for their safety and well-being, I hate to think that our family will never again sit looking at photo albums around their dining room table, cut into a beautifully frosted cake while singing "Happy Birthday," or pull taffy in the kitchen.
I do so hate change.