My maternal grandmother is quite a trooper. She’s had ongoing heart problems for about twenty years and a transplant twelve years ago. For as long as possible, she’s kept it moving like she didn’t. For the last year or so, she’s been in and out of the hospital due to her heart rejecting and a myriad of other problems and complications. In spite of that, she still has a great spirit and is there for anyone even while being bedridden the last year.
I see her every couple of weeks, but not for very long. Everyone knows that dealing with sickness and relatives has been my life so she understands why I don’t. The last few weeks, I’ve come by and we’ve had conversations while watching movies. Ironically, these conversations have started because whenever I’m over she just happens to be watching movies about widowed fathers and their young daughters.
The fourth of July we talked about life and relationships over Jersey Girl, the Ben Affleck abomination where his wife dies during childbirth and he moves back home with his father all the while raising his daughter and trying to get some semblance of his old life back in.New York City. Needless to say, I relate to that movie quite a bit. We talked about me possibly moving to the city one day with Cydney, my future plans, and dealing with my loss and trying to move on.
My grandmother asked me whether or not I have been dating or talking to anyone recently. I gave her a rundown of my experiences with a couple that I was and somewhat am currently. She asked how was one in particular with Cydney. The question came out of the blue because I was just talking about how things were going and so on since things were kinda fading with said person. I told her that she was great with Cydney and she’s taken quite a liking to her. My grandmother said “Well, that’s very important. Even if you have reservations about her, that’s something that doesn’t come along often” in her matron-like tone of voice. I’m not one for mom-shopping, but I think she was saying without saying that someone who takes such an interest just might be worth being patient with.
I told her that I try to work on being patient with people. Being stuck between mentally and emotionally forty-something and literally in my twenties means I loathe childishness. She explained me that this age is about being childish and self-serving and to work on that. Continue to be there and things will work themselves out.
A couple of weeks later over My Girl my grandmother asked me “How’s it been going in the city?” I laughed and said that’s a good question. I told her I’d been out there maybe once since then and it was per Cydney’s request. She told me that was nice. My sister told me she conversed with our grandmother who said that I finally sound like I have some sense.
Over an episode of Friends on her birthday on Friday, I said in reference to the episode’s plot “I’m okay with someone I’m seeing dating other people because how do you know I’m not doing the same? People tend to weed themselves out.” She said that was the right attitude to have at this time in life and she hopes that in dating again get hurt. I told her “After all I’ve been through, you’d be hard pressed to for that to happen.”
Out of nowhere she said “My hope for you is that you get out more. You need something more in your life than just taking care of old people and children. You know you’re in your best years right now, right?” It always takes a fresh pair of eyes looking from the outside to point out instantly what we think internally or pinpoint what’s been eating at you and you didn’t know it. That’s been the last three years of my life without much of a break or being given too much of an opportunity to have something for myself.
Her statement was loaded. While I’d say sixty percent of what she meant was exactly what she said, she searched for correct wording. Reading between those lines of that particular hope and a summation of all of her words during our conversation was that “I hope you can settle down with someone sooner than later.”
I’m not sure what or why, but I get the vibe that she feels I will find the happiness and peace I’m looking for in my life with another person. While that’s what all grandmas say in some way in the same vain parents say “I want grandbabies” to their kids as they get older; I think my grandmother wants me to get married and Cydney to have a mom. That’s a sweet sentiment. Older parents and grandparents know what we need more than we do because they’re more seasoned in the reading their offspring than a fairly new parent like myself.
The common theme from conversations with older people who l know me seem to all want me to have a “Happily Ever After” of some sort. Hell, I want one too. Mine just revolves around getting myself together to take care of my daughter and give her the world. My father is the one who tells me that this is the right mindset. Everyone else looks at me and talks as if they’re all saying “Chad, you got the right idea. But you’re missing