Watching those we love grow old is never easy, even though we know it’s going to happen.
For the last several years, I’ve watched my grandmother age and as her Alzheimer’s took over her mind and body more and more. She’s my last living grandparent, since losing Uncle Ken in August last year, and last week she was officially put on hospice care. It didn’t come as a surprise, but that didn’t make it easier to know that her medical team is trying to prepare her and our family for the inevitable.
The hardest part for me is the unknown as we don’t know how much time we have left with her.
When I found this out from my mom, my brain immediately jumped to a conversation I had with my grandmother when I was in high school. I had just finished singing at my aunt Karla’s funeral and we were gathered outside the room as they prepared for us to head over to the cemetery. My grandma gave me a hug, told me the song was beautiful and asked me to sing at her funeral some day.
I’m sure you can imagine that I wasn’t very happy with her. I hardly made it through this song without turning into a blubbery mess, I didn’t understand how she thought I wouldn’t be in a worse state for hers. Not to mention, I didn’t even want to imagine that day ever coming.
And while she’s still alive and kicking, and this entire thought process could be completely premature, I can’t help but think about that conversation. It’s been playing on repeat in my head for nearly a week now.
Could I sing at her service?
Could I sing without completely crying?
Could I forgive myself if I didn’t, knowing she asked when she was completely with it?
Repeat, repeat, repeat.
I heard this song, “Weathered,” by Jack Garrett while at work the other week and it caught me. The lyrics pulled me in and at the time, I didn’t know how much they were or would end up speaking to me.
When I grow old, my weathered soul
And memories recluse, elusive
Help me take them out
So keep me young and call my bluffs
And help me out when you say, you say
There’s no room for doubt
Say I’m stronger and keep me close
And be the water and test my cold
And if I never let you go
Will you keep me young
Keep me young