Before my grandad passed away last year, my nan tried everything to help keep him out of a nursing home. They had made a pact, you see. A pact when they were eighteen and freshly engaged. They promised that they would never send each other to a nursing home when they got old, and that they would stay together until the very end. I can safely say that my nan did everything she could to help keep her promise.
It was really hard to watch her struggle trying to help the one she loved. Grandad’s dementia got progressively worse as he got closer to the end, to the point where my nan had to keep the doors locked during the day, sleep in her clothes at night and get expert bathtub modifications. For seniors in the Sydney CBD such as my nan, it couldn’t have been easy to either try and shower your loved one, or sit outside of the bathroom dreading the sound of a bang that meant something had gone wrong.
My nan really is the strongest woman I know. She’s always been shy and has kept to herself, but her love of her family has always been fierce. She loved my grandad more and more every day, and when I asked what she did to have such a strong relationship, she said “I didn’t do anything except choose the easiest person in the world to love.”
It simultaneously warms and breaks my heart, seeing how much my nan loves my grandad. She’ll never stop loving him. She told me the other day that it was going to be their sixtieth wedding anniversary on the 17th of June. She said she wishes he was here with us. She says sometimes she’ll just sit at the foot of the bathtub and look at the professional bath modifications and wish that her biggest problem was making sure he had bathed safely.
More than anything, she just wants her loving husband, her perfect man, back in her arms. I hope to have a love like that one day.