Saturday, July 30, 2011

Living to 93 and beyond

As we moved my Grandma for the third time in 18 months, I was struck by how few possessions she now has left.  The moves have been out of a combination of necessity, my Grandma's stubbornness and my mom's guilt and indecisiveness.  The first move was from Grandma's small 2 bedroom home into a nice assisted living complex where she had a studio type room, with a bedroom in an alcove.  She didn't have a lot of things to get rid of - she and my Grandpa never accumulated "stuff" and she was able to take her sofa, recliner, coffee table, end table and bedroom furniture and most of her sparsely placed here and there, knickknacks.  But, at 91, Grandma was adamantly against having to move (there was no way she could live on her own any longer and was way past due for assisted living, in my opinion.) and so she fought living there every step of the way.  Complained about everything, driving my Mom nuts, until she made herself sick and my mom too filled with guilt.  Mom took her out of assisted living and moved Grandma into her place. At that point we had to sell/donate most all her furniture, other than her recliner and end table.

That arrangement lasted a year, until it got where 24 hour care is just too much for a 70 year old to handle.  She found her a nursing type place that was in a private, licensed home that cared for 5 ladies, total.  This was about 4 months ago, but things have slowly gone downhill with her care (she has lost 13 pounds and only weighed about 110 to begin with) due to the owner's own health problems (and apparent gambling addiction, where she was gone all night quite often).  My grandma quite liked one of the caregivers that worked at this place, who was also telling my mom how unhappy she is with how the place was being run the past couple of months.  So, she offered to take care of my Grandma herself, in her home.  So, we moved her again today.  All's she has left of possessions at 93 years of age is a recliner, an end table, a walker, clothing and a few of her doll collection and a few pictures.

I guess that is the cycle of life.  But, makes me wonder why I have so much stuff!  What's the point?  My grandparents were children of the Depression era.  The never had much at all.  During my lifetime they had always lived in small places, usually a single wide trailer or one time, for a 6 month period, in a little camper trailer.  Their last place was a small 2 bedroom double wide.  It was always neat as a pin and not overloaded with possessions.....just the stuff they needed and a few things that made them happy.  Isn't that all we all really need in life?

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