Friday, September 27, 2013

Travels of The Trunk-Lidija's Demise

Two things cause people to perish; lack of vision and lack of community. Grandma Lidija moved into her small apartment alone. Having spent the previous years raising her granddaughter and caring for the horses, dogs and house she now had all day to herself. That is the thing we often say to ourselves, “If only I had all day to myself.” We fail to understand that ‘all to ourselves’ is a death sentence.

The walks started out as a good thing. Grandma would walk to the mall or to a local restaurant. She would spend mornings exercising and exploring the local community. My mother and I would drop by her house to find it empty but she would return for lunch and would touch base. The walks went from fit to fugue. She would take walks and forget how to get home. She would take walks and forget lunch and dinner.

I had a number of dogs growing up. Once in a while they would dart outside in search of adventure. On occasion we were forced to walk around the block yelling the dogs’ name over and over; widening the search until the dog came running or returned home. This is what we ended up doing with Grandma. The occurrences increased and the anxiety mounted with each experience. Gradually it became obvious that Grandma needed to be taken care of. So we moved her into a facility.

I vividly remember her last years as her mind slipped away along with her health. The grandma that fed hay to horses and ran a household now spent hours in a wheelchair.

Grandma was raised Lutheran and her church experiences impacted her worldview. Somehow my conversion to Christianity converged with her early experiences and when I would visit she oft mistook me for a priest. I would spend hours with her and she would often request that I “lead her to the blessed hope.”

She was ushered into that blessed hope in her 92nd year. Her belongings, boxes, books and letters were all ushered into my mothers’ garage. So it was that my Grandma Lidija and the travelling trunk finally found their rest.

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