My grandmother was over for dinner today. She comes over every Sunday but this Sunday my mum collected her and my dad dropped her home. It’s getting dark so early that she prefers not to drive now. When my dad announced that he was dropping her home I decided to go along for the spin. I love being in the car at night, when it’s all dark and the streetlights are on. There’s something beautiful about darkness. That, and the fact that I was a bit bored.
And as we drove over I began to realise that I actually cannot remember the last time I was over in her house. It’s not that I don’t see her, seeing as she comes over to our place twice a week, but in all honesty I had no idea when I had last been over there.
It scared me in a way. I thought I knew exactly what the place looked like, but at the same time I didn’t try to picture it in my head. We arrived and we walked her up to the house, and popped inside for a few minutes. This is the house where I spent my time as a baby and as a toddler. When my parents went to work every day I would go over there and my grandparents would mind me, until my dad came to collect me on his way home.
I would talk to my grandparents, maybe go to mass with my nana, go out for a spin, go for lunch, or tea. I’d watch the Countdown or a snooker match with my granda, pick the lotto numbers for him, do some weeding in the garden, play with the toys in the toy box behind the couch, take out a colouring book, play with the neighbour’s dog, and help decorate at Christmas. All these memories came flooding back when I stepped through the front door. What shocked me the most was the fact that the place seemed almost new to me, as though I hadn’t been there before. I did remember it, but I had forgotten bits too.
That surprised me alright, but what scared me was seeing old age for what it really is. My grandmother, this old woman, has to spend ever night alone in that house. It honestly must be terrifying. I mean, I like my solitude, but having to be alone every night, that’s different. And I’m a young ‘un. I’m less likely to have a fall or a serious accident, or to be targeted my vandals.
I’m not saying my grandmother is in a depressed state, because she has family and friends that love her and who are always visiting or bringing her out. But as we walked up that wet path in the dark, and climbed those steep steps to the door, it made me realise some stuff.
And I just said I’d share it with the world.