I felt tired and a bit like I was getting a cold, but my grandmother kept talking, even as the humidifier remained unopened in the box 8 hours after our arrival. She commented how I must be tired and still a bit jet lagged and I mentioned my feeling of weariness to her. And as we completed another chore of her trying on some clothes that my mother had bought for her, she insisted that I lie on the bed, put up my feet, close my eyes. And at my curiosity she explained in detail the way that she boils an egg and how she peels it, a quest for perfection that I may never achieve. Her attention to detail touched me. Her care for telling me how it should be done felt so loving.
Somewhere behind the streams of words and distractions, behind the fear of being alone and unloved, is someone so loving and wanting. The tenacity of her love and care is in the way that she holds a hand upon saying hello, the way that she hugs. As difficult as it can be to sift through the words, the definitions she has placed upon life to bring sense and security to it, the subtle (or not so subtle) judgement that we family members can feel in her questions and comments, I can feel the depth of her loving in the way she cares. As I was lying on her bed, resting while she took off her clothes, I couldn't help but feel a deep sense of trust, the sense of a safe place despite the insecurities of life and old age. I don't remember most of the things she said today, nor do I think that they are really what she was saying. But I hope I can take that feeling of trust with me and share it on her behalf.