Being close with my grandparents is one of the greatest blessings I’ve experienced thus far in life. Amidst the touching and sweet pictures and the meaningful moments I share, I sometimes neglect to mention that there are hard days. In reality, there are a lot of hard days. When you live with others, its tough enough. But some of you know that when you live with someone who is aging, it can get sticky, rough and difficult. What were the Top 10 things that made living with my grandparents tough?
1. Having to use 10 times more energy to talk loud enough so my grandparents could hear me.
2. Having to come home by 10pm every night so that my grandparents wouldn’t worry. (They were always waiting by the door or spying out the window hovering. Needless to say, my late nights were always at home.)
3. Hearing Yeye, my grandpa, yell in pain or fear at night and anxiously wondering whether this would be the night that we would be going to the ER. Feeling very stressed.
4. Having to run to answer the phone after one ring else having my grandparents yell frantically “BEL! The phone!”
5. Dirty “clean” dishes. My grandparents would wash their dishes and the routine was that you’d have to pull them out again and rewash them.
6. Surround sound from my grandpa’s TV. His TV was deafening and eventually in grad school I had to move to the basement.
7. Having my grandparents always ask “Where’s Bel?” (Back to #2, the hovering.)
8. The feeling of guilt when you didn’t want to do something for your grandparents.
9. Lack of privacy. Sometimes I’d pretend I was still sleeping as to avoid my grandparents asking me for favors (#8 then follows).
10. My grandpa’s anger. Aging is difficult and for him I think it brought on physical and emotional pain that often came out in anger towards those close to him.