Friday, August 13, 2010

old people


I am practicing to be old.
my grandparents are old...they are giving me a glimpse into what it is like.

I went shopping with my grandma the other day. She wanted to get some capri pants because everyone is wearing them. haha. My grandma has the beginning stages of alzheimers...she is starting to forget things. I am dreading the day she forgets who I am. She is looking really old these days. She doesn't walk outside because it is either too cold or too hot or too windy...she has a thing about wind. I had forgotten this fact until the other day when she asked me to go on a walk. I got my shoes on and was ready to walk around the block. Grandpa got the car keys and we drove to the mall. They have a route. Grandpa babies her...he has been for awhile now. She has become weak and frail looking. When we were trying on clothes she needed me to hold onto her so she could get the capris on and off. She held my hand as we were walking back to the car...for stability.

Thursday night means out to eat night for grandma and grandpa. They have a few restaurants that they like to frequent but when I am here they like to give me the choice...but I know that if I was to pick they wouldn't actually like it. There are some awesome vegetarian/local produce restaurants that I want to try in the Minneapolis area but I know they would not be down with that. Grandpa has celiac sprue. He can't eat gluten products...wheat, barley, etc. No bread. No Pasta. No donuts. This limits the options. As does his long list of dislikes. He is a meat and potatoes kind of guy. He doesn't like garlic or spice of any kind. Ethnic foods make him uncomfortable. So the decision of where we are going to eat usually comes down to me just choosing something they would like. Old people are set in their ways and don't usually want new or uncomfortable to be a part of their everyday routine.

"Well Jess, should we make a trip to Dairy Queen" are magic words. I still feel like a kid when he says them too. It has been part of grandma and grandpa's house forever. Grandpa ALWAYS gets a pineapple sundae. always. I don't think I can even remember a trip where that hasn't been asked of the teenage cheerleader behind the counter. Pineapple sundae...who even orders that. Grandpa does. He is content...with the sameness of life.

My grandparent's friends are old too. They have seen Krista and I grow up. They were there when my sister walked away from church when she was 3 causing a huge panic. They taught us Sabbath school. They remembered our birthdays. They sent me money for graduating. Today we visited Emmit...in an assisted living home. I almost lost my breath when we walked in the room today. He looked frail. His skin was a funny color. He was hooked up to oxygen. But he still had his jokes. He was still Emmit. Just old...dying actually.

I am dying too...i just don't realize it. The consequences of life are not written all over my face yet. I have been yearning for wisdom. Wisdom to know what to pursue and where to go with this life I have been given. I am even reading Proverbs...the tidbits of wisdom that are supposed to help and direct and point us in the right direction. Old people have wisdom. Wisdom through experience. Is that what I am yearning for? My grandma can only see what is right in front of her feet because her posture is so bad these days...is that wisdom? My grandpa won't try Chipotle because he thinks it will be too spicy...is that wisdom? Emmit watches Hogan's Heroes at four and eats supper at a quarter after 5...is that wisdom?

I don't know.

Will I be old someday?

Will I talk about the weather all the time and constantly watch the news?

Maybe I will wear capris because everyone is doing it...

5 comments:

chelsea said...

i have heavy thoughts today, too... realizing that i feel content with something that i do not want to feel contented about at all...

Nicholas said...

this is good, jessi jo. good thoughts. i will have to keep thinking about it.

At night His song is with me said...

you did it. and none of these days are using capital letters. i have caved. i always get a burrito at Taco Bell. I don't think there's ever been a time I haven't. Except maybe once, on purpose, because I wanted it to be the one time I didn't get a burrito. Oh look, I started using caps...

At night His song is with me said...

By "none of these days" I must have meant "none of us these days." Surely.

TaraB said...

Jo, I just love you. These are good thoughts. The other day, my dad told me that I was dying... we were talking about getting old, just for a reference point. I don't like that thought very much. But I DO like the thought of wisdom, and wisdom coming with age and experiences. You are a wise woman Jessi Jo, and you're only 25.