Life has been going great in 2015. I’ve gotten a lot of wedding planning done, we got to go visit my fiances family on the East Coast, things with my family have been great, I started my first teaching job and I love it, and we’re planning on moving pretty soon to a bigger place. Then I called my grandmother earlier this week on my way home from work. (Which I should do more often.) I was calling looking for my dad actually when she randomly started telling me about how she hadn’t been feeling good. She started telling me that her legs and her back had been hurting.
One thing you should probably know about my grandmother is that she is a tough ole broad. Which is an understatement in her case. She’s put up with my grandfather for years, which is no easy feat. He’s probably one of the coldest people I have ever met in my life. Picture Archie Bunker and Red Foreman from That 70’s Show. That’s my grandfather. He’s never really been warm and fuzzy toward anyone. Him and my grandmother were both alcoholics for years but we mostly figured to live with someone like him that you would have to be. She also had been a smoker since she was in high school. But it never seemed to slow her down any.
Then there’s my dad. My dad made more than a few mistakes in his life…and mine. He also struggled with substance abuse for a few years there and did some time for it. It definitely took it’s toll on my grandmother. She was the one who always tried to save him no matter what. She would spend every penny she had. Not to mention she went through losing her parents almost simultaneously back when I was in middle school. She has two sisters but she was the one who lived the closest to them and always bends over backwards for those she loves.
She’s odd in a sense that she never does it with a smile. She’s one of those people who is a good person but doesn’t want you to point it out or make a spectacle of her. I’ve never seen her turn her back on any of us though. Especially my dad and my grandfather.
My dad called me earlier and started talking to me about how worried he is about her because she’s not someone who “gets down.” She’s always the backbone of the family. She’s got a very “Git-r-done”, East Texan attitude about her. Apparently she has lost a substantial amount of weight and out of nowhere quit drinking and smoking, after doing both on a daily basis the majority of her life. I don’t know about you but that sounds ridiculously hard. How do you quit those kinds of habits cold turkey that you’ve had for so long? That’s what made me worried. Why would you quit unless you had something to worry about… like your health. From when I talked to her, she sounds afraid to go to the doctor. She brushes it off like she doesn’t want to waste her time, but my dad has been telling me she hasn’t been herself lately and that he can tell she’s in pain every time he sees her.
I really hope she’s okay. Her and my other grandmother raised me until I was a pretty big kid in elementary. I’ve never even thought about a world without my grandparents. I’ve never even thought about her being ill or anything. She has always been so tough that I thought she would outlive us all. I can’t even think of a time when she has been sick with a cold or anything.
It’s so strange to see any kind of weakness in someone that has always looked so tough in your eyes. It makes me sad and feel helpless. I think we’re all to the point that if she doesn’t make herself an appointment we’re just going to drag her to the doctor kicking and screaming. I plan on calling her tomorrow and pushing the doctor appointment some more. How do you make someone do something they’re afraid to do?