I recently read a book which correlated rather surprisingly with my life. I was not expecting it and indeed, at one point put the book down finding it too heavy. Still I did not connect why. Not until the next day while shopping and thinking of nothing in particular.
It happens like that. Sudden realisations seemingly out of the blue. But they’re not really, because the mind is always working, whether we wish it to or not.
The book in question is Amanda Curtin’s Elemental. This book is a wonderful read and if you are looking for a story with a strong historical bent, then I urge you to read it. There are certain similarities between the book and my family. Not the same, but enough to give me pause. Enough for me to look at my own life and what I have been ignoring.
You see, my grandmother is not well. In fact, she is dying.
Every time I see her, she is frailer in body but remarkably stronger in spirit. It is confronting, seeing someone with such a large presence in my life slowly slip away. And it is slow. She can’t walk far now, needing a wheelchair if she leaves the house. She stops people visiting when she is feeling too weak and that’s fine, she needs to put herself first. But her life is ending and it is bittersweet.
She has not been well for a long time. But how do you say goodbye to someone who is still here?
Every visit feels like a little part of her is gone. But. She is still my grandmother who laughs at rude jokes, even if she doesn’t eat much anymore. She is still the woman who taught me ballet steps and how not to cook. The woman who cried endless tears when Princess Diana died, bore 4 children and adopted another. She is my grandmother and she is still here.
And that is what Elemental has taught me, appreciate what we have right now, even if it is bittersweet.
I’m lucky. I’m 34 and I still have all my grandparents alive. But this first one leaving me is hurting. I need to make the most of the time she has left, the lessons she has taught me and the ones she is still teaching. She is a strong woman and one day, when the time is right, I will tell her story. It is the least I can do for her.
Have a lovely and creative week everyone xx