Ever since I was born, my grandma has been and still is a constant source of love and affection. We used to live together in a small, little orange house. One of my most cherished memories was coming home to the warmth of my grandparents after elementary school.
Nowadays, we live apart, but I make it a point to visit her when I can. As the years have gone by, both of us have gotten older. It’s something she often mentions, reflecting on how she wants to be there for us as we continue to grow.
A few days ago, she called me to check up on how I was doing and congratulate me on finishing college. At first, I was perplexed. I had already graduated a few months prior and had visited her then to celebrate. Nonetheless, I appreciated her thoughtfulness and graciously accepted her congratulations again. We made plans to go out and have a meal together that Saturday.
When Saturday arrived, my sister and I phoned her before setting off, only to later discover that she had already made plans with her friends. It seemed our visit slipped her mind. Since we were already close, we decided to quickly drop by. As I entered her house, it brought back a flood of nostalgic memories. The familiar scent of her home enveloped us. Everything was the same since the last time I came. I noticed that the clock on the wall remained frozen at 4 o’clock, though she didn’t rely on it since her vision was impaired. In the past, her room used to be upstairs, but she had moved downstairs to the living room for easier access.
Occasionally, she struggled to hear her phone ring, whether due to low volume or accidentally activating the mute setting. In an attempt to reschedule our outing, I positioned myself close to her. Even in such proximity, it proved challenging for her to hear my words clearly. I adjusted my voice and spoke louder than usual, a departure from my usual conversational style. I observed that she often relied on watching my lips move, as though silently reading what I was saying.
We ended up going out for a meal together and drop her off at her friend’s house afterwards. I was honestly glad she had made plans to see her friends because I knew it meant a lot to her to get out of the house instead of staying indoors all day. I went ahead to fetch the car and brought it closer to the entrance, ensuring she wouldn’t have to walk a long distance. My sister and I had brought our mom’s new Tesla with us specifically to take our grandma for a ride and make the day more enjoyable. It was quite amusing when she mistook the Tesla for a new Honda Civic.
My grandma has a playful, sarcastic side to her. During our conversation, she jokingly mentioned her rehab therapy sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays, pointing out the free transportation service provided for seniors like her. She couldn’t help but express her gratitude, finding humor in the fact that growing older allowed her to receive therapy and transportation at no cost.
The three of us decided to get some phở together. While waiting in line, my sister mentioned how we had to keep an eye on our grandma as she had a knack for cutting in line. It seems like instead of following the flow of the line, she is sets the pace herself. Holding her credit card in hand, she was ready to treat us to the meal and made sure to beat us to the payment. Once we were seated, she diligently put away her credit card, remembering how she had lost it before and had to spend a whole day at the bank to get a replacement.
It was a delightful experience seeing her enjoy her meal, and true to her caring nature, she generously sneaked some extra meat into our bowls, making sure we were well-fed and satisfied.
As we concluded our time together, I drove her back to her friend’s house. Navigation was not my forte, and I was unfamiliar with the roads. But my grandma was a seasoned navigator. All I had to do was follow her directions—go straight and take a right at the street. Unsurprisingly, I drove off in the wrong direction.
During the drive, we passed by our old neighborhood where the orange house was. It brought back memories — walking to elementary school and riding bicycles on those familiar streets.
After a few U-turns, we eventually arrived at her friend’s house. We accompanied her to the front door, despite being urged to head home by her friend. My sister and I decided to turn back to visit our old neighborhood, taking a trip down memory lane, but I will save that for another day.
Spending the day with my grandma was a truly remarkable experience, and the moments we shared are absolutely priceless.
To all of you reading this, I implore you to take a moment out of your busy lives to visit and connect with your loved ones. It is important to be mindful of the challenges that many elderly individuals face on a daily basis. So, let us cherish those we hold dear and show them the love and care they deserve.