I have been living with one of the matriarchs of my family for three days now and everything has changed.
My grandmother is staying with me and she is trying to take control of everything. She has been a widow for almost 10 years and ever since then I can tell that she feels fairly helpless and purposeless. She has no one but herself to clean and cook for unless she has the family over for dinner. Yet, each time that she stays with me, I turn into a second partner for her. I fill the void that my grandfather left. It is a very sad story but I cannot continue to pick up the pieces each time that she is reminded of him or tells me the same stories about their past. What about the now?
I am also under a lot of pressure as I only have 5 months left of high school. I have homework. I need to study. But she wants to play card games. I would love to but I don’t have much time. As I have said before, I will join her once I have finished all the work that I need to complete. But I speak to my brother and he lets me know that our grandmother has been crying because I wasn’t giving her any attention. (I am not being insensitive. I just need to finish everything before I am going to allow myself some fun. I hear that its called discipline.) And perfectly, the moment I finish my homework, she has found something to occupy herself. I walk into the living room to find her sitting on the couch knitting, having a jolly good time!
Likewise, I don’t like people coming into my space and wrecking the systems and routines that I have and she has done exactly that. There are times that I eat, there are times that I watch TV. But she is changing everything. I know that I sound a tad bit crazy but I need my space, just as others do. It may seem that my family is second on my list compared to my studies and for this year, apparently, that is the way it is supposed to be. I would love to drop the books and spend all the time in the world talking with my grandma, watching old movies and playing her favourite card games. But that is not the way life goes. It is not always dandy and you can’t always do what you want.
Right now, I want my space but my grandmother is taking that up. I guess I will have to get over it and get along with life. But, I still want space.
(Does anyone else hear a whining kid? I do. I understand my grandmother’s needs but can’t she bother my brother instead.)