I made a slightly impromptu trip up north to visit family this week – my nana has recently been diagnosed with cancer and my family decided because of her late stage Alzheimers, we won’t be treating it (quality of life issues you know – since Chemo wreaks havoc as it is). It wasn’t a good-bye visit by any means, but it definitely could have been better and happier.
Seeing my Nana and Papa. Hands down, best part of the visit. Having some quality sister time Saturday afternoon after I arrived didn’t hurt either.
Nor did FINALLY getting to try my best friend’s Chicken Fried Rice (he’s half Taiwanese so this has always been a BFD) – he’s been raving about this to me for years so the fact that I finally got to try it is a pretty big deal. We’ve been friends since 9th grade – one of my oldest pals for sure, so in addition to trying his home cooking, seeing him and his fiance Michelle was a pretty impromptu bonus.
Also a good? Purchasing a winter coat. I haven’t bought one in a few years, so this was much needed. And it was sales tax free so WIN!
Forgetting to call my brother. Not really having time to have all of the delicious Vermont food and beverages. Realizing my grandfather is becoming a little senile – hell, realizing my beloved grandparents have aged about twenty years in the past six years since I saw them dancing together and Hubs and I’s wedding – has been nothing short of heart wrenching.
Also, a 2+ hour flight delay – who knows why – weather? maybe? Either way, so many ughs. At the very least, it wasn’t ugly because the Burlington airport has one of my favorite Burlington eateries in the terminal – the Skinny Pancake. If you’re ever in Burlington, I highly recommend.
Seeing my Nana not remember me. She’s happy when she sees me, but she doesn’t call me by name. She doesn’t really remember me, I’m certain, but she pretends really well. I know the next visit (likely sometime in April) will be worse. I know she doesn’t have much longer because the cancer is in her liver and I can’t fathom life without her. I know I don’t have many visits left before she’ll be overcome with pain and her memory will be completely gone and the ugliest part is my lack of emotional preparedness for all of this.
In all, despite the bad and the ugly, it was a great trip north. Too short – as they always are – but filled with so much happiness. Seeing my grandfather genuinely happy to see me, as if he was clinging on to something, some sort of normalcy, just warmed my heart and saddened it at the same time. Aging is tough yo. Aging is even tougher when your partner of over 50 years (57 to be exact) is dying.
All in all? A good trip north. Not super sad, unless I really really stop to think about life without my beloved nana, which i try not to do because it’ll break me in ways I never thought I could be. I remember when my grandfather had a stroke a few years ago – it was 2007 and I got a call from my dad and then my step mom and I just broke down. My grandparents have always been a rock for me, so thinking of them getting older, and the whole mortality thing? Yeah, that doesn’t jive well with me.
Till the next trip Vermont, until the next trip.