A quick visit to Ohio this weekend.
My grandparents are really old and I don't want to face that, to really be with that. They can barely walk with a walker or cane. They have trouble seeing, and hearing. They forget to use words that make what they are trying to say specific, turning a sharp map pin into felty balls of meaning. Yet their personalities are completely intact. It's as if their selves spring from the same inner source, but they cannot approach anything.
A lot of emotions and thoughts well up in me, mostly guilt for not being with them much over the last two years. Almost predictable, I know. Guilty long distance grandson comes home for a few days. But it was there nonetheless so I didn't fight it.
Ohio Visits have always been my ultimate safe space. I could go home, back to fields of unshakeable potential energy, fields of the future, and be a child again. My family could take care of me, of my meals and the cleaning, and by extension, my happiness. I never got that opportunity to live in that dream this time. The roles are reversed, and they relied on me for what they wanted: a car trip to a restaurant, a hot meal, entertainment outside of their friends and their television. It was dizzyingly disorienting the first two days but now I get it. The leader they've always said I was is now being called center stage, whether I like it or not.