Monday, October 3, 2011

a moment of clarity

living with someone who is elderly, your life changes in a lot of ways and the way you look at life and time is very different. i used to see time and the future in terms of work: what my schedule was, when i should wake up, what I should do on my day off, etc. when i first moved here i still worked full-time and I did for a while. eventually, it was too hard on gammer and it made her upset and sad for me to leave her every day. so now i'm home all the time and days of the week and dates, unless they are important, are pretty much meaningless. wednesday is garbage day. sunday used to be church day, until gammer stopped going. right now, tuesdays are quiz days. I went shopping at target yesterday or the day before and they had halloween and christmas stuff. for a moment, my brain said, "wow, they haven't gotten rid of the halloween costumes yet" and then I realized we haven't even had it yet. this is what happens when you live with someone who doesn't even know what month it is or where their family is. it's really pretty sad and I also realized that getting old and losing your memory is like being a vampire. i know that sounds crazy, but it actually makes a lot of sense, so hear me out. it was dracula in particular that made me think about this, as i'm taking a class on vampires in literature. vampires have lost their souls and, immortal, will never know peace. they aren't themselves anymore, they're a twisted and corrupted version of themselves. dracula was once a man, just like anyone else. gammer used to be a different gammer. the gammer who raised bruce, brad, mary and robert isn't the same now. a lot of things are still there, but old age, like a vampire, has taken away parts of who she is and to me, that is profoundly sad, because it can't ever come back. someday she will be gone and i don't know that I want to remember this gammer. i want to remember the gammer of my childhood and I think I will, or at least I hope I will. but life isn't that easy or simple. there are no rules or guides for getting old and living life. I have to remember, even on the worst days, that gammer didn't choose this, it just happened, and she deserves not crankiness but love and patience.

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