My grandma called in about the 5th inning of today’s opening day Cubs game. She can’t get her computer to work. I asked if the problem was that it wouldn’t turn on, or? She assured me it was nothing like that, shwe just couldn’t get to her Facebook or fantasy baseball team and there was baseball today and what should she do?
First off, yes, my grandma plays in our family’s fantasy baseball and football leagues. We are spread out between here and Florida and we all love sports so it’s fun. My grandma, like many mature human individuals, has issues with technology. I will go after finishing my traditional opening day viewing with my kids and “fix” her computer. I’m not sure what the problem is and I am by no means an expert but it will be fixed somewhere between 5 and 45 seconds is it’s broken like it usually is.
My parents moved us all to Florida just before my senior year in high school. I moved back and forth a lot before meeting my wife after graduation. I usually had a fun house or apartment with friends but when I didn’t I could always stay at Grammy’s on literally zero notice. As far as her and my grandpa, Pop, knew I was still living in Florida. Or New York. Or whatever, and I’d show up with my duffle bagged life’s possessions and there I’d be for a few months.
Even before we moved we always loved sleepovers at Grammy’s. She had a pool in her back yard and a basketball court right down the street and my parents had 3 kids by the time they were 21 and worked their butts off to afford us. So we were there lots. We LOVED it Before we moved our whole extended family was, for the most part, stationed here in the Chicago area. We’d go to each other’s houses for holidays but when it was a Thanksgiving or Xmas at Grammy’s was basically home turf for us. They would cook and host and it was just, life.
My aunt and her family and I live down the street from Grammy’s house now. That’s it. I manage to get the kids there once or twice a week. She insists on making them dinner. It’s usually sausages she had ready by 3 for our thrice agreed upon 4:30 arrival time after at least one call while I’m trying to teach my after school club asking where we are. Sometimes I pop out to change or hit the gym. Regardless of the food quality in comparison to when I was their age, my kids love being at Grammy’s just like my brothers and I used to. Those days when I leave them there for a bit I’m pretty sure my daughter has at least 3 ice creams.
It goes like this, in my mind. My grandma finishes washing the ice cream bowls and puts them away. Then she asks my daughter if she is hungry for ice cream. This repeats once or twice and then she yells at my now-diabetic grandpa for eating “all the kids’ ice cream”. My grandma, the sharpest, quickest, most involved grandmother (and great-grandmother) I’ve ever known, and one of the best and closest friends I’ve ever had, forgets things. All the time. All day, everyday.
I could go in detail but I’m not going to. She’s funny, not serious. We tease sometimes and it’s fine. Laughing covers scary well. She still makes it rain sleet or snow to every one of my kids’ sporting events that she can. She’s very much still in there. The spark has not diminished. Her memory, like, short term, is just no longer a thing really.
It happens with aging and I’m lucky to have an intact pair of grandparents that were integral to my life and now no matter how much longer we’ll be lucky to have them around it will be the same for my kids. They have already gotten so much from them. And I have to believe there’s so much more to come. She may not remember the moments individually, but we will. She may not remember the moments individually but she does know they exist and that we build on them with every passing visit.
Cubs win. Computer fixing time. And a stolen visit for me and the kids to Grammy’s house.