At grandma's garden

Yesterday I spent the evening at grandma's house. It was a sunny and hot day (34.5°C), great to enjoy some cold drinks and a bbq.

My grandma used to be a very strong, smart, independant woman. She joined volunteer groups and did charity work, spent a lot of time in her once very large garden working in her trees and flowers, did patchwork and handcrafts for the whole family and friends, listened to tons of cds, went to the movies and read a few books a week. She was always a laugh because of her witty remarks and the amazing stories from her childhood. She enjoyed travelling, driving around and creating new delicious dishes.

That's how I remember grandma. Yesterday it was so sad and heart breaking to see her so upset and lonely. She lost her sight and most of her hearing, and although she's finding ways to keep on doing some of her handcrafts and cooking, she has lost her independance and confidence.

Her old house was sold and she lives in a house built in what was left of her once beautiful garden. Her memory is going away and her laughter is not as strong and constant as before. Her eyes look sad and the sparks are gone.

I walked around the garden and found just a few flowers and trees, nothing like the huge paradise I used to play at when I was a kid, pretending to be in the jungle or in an Indiana Jones adventure, hanging from the trees and running away from huge spiders and bees.
Even with all the changes I found a few lonely birds (they must visit her for a reason) and a tortoise that turned out to be of one of my cousins.

It was eating rat poison when I found it, alone behind some bushes. Got some papaya from grandma's house to feed it, I'm sure it was hungry and thirsty because it ate as if it was the most delicious thing on earth, super fast and to the last bit of it.

I'll try to go visit my grandma more often, I like it when I'm able to make her laugh and she recovers some of her 'wittyness'. I'll make sure to bring some papaya with me for that other lonely fellow, wondering around the garden.


Anonymous said...

Best wishes to grandma, and what a cute tortoise!

My old blog was shut down, so here is my new one:

mon@rch said...

Love the tortoise and you grandmother has a great garden!

Mel said...

Thanks Helena and Mon@rch!

Mary said...

Hi Mel,

This is a heartbreaking story that I understand so well. My Dad had a major stroke 12 years ago and never recovered. He's been in a nursing home for the past two years and I can see he has lost a lot of joy for living, too. It's hard to see our parents and grandparents fail.

On a happy note, that's a great looking turtle! I'm glad you saved him from the rat poisoning.


nina said...

The tortoise seems very excited (as excited as tortoises get) about the papaya!
Hope the poison passes with no ill effects. He must be quite old--a shame to lose a warrior like that!
Thanks for visiting my site--you have a lot to share, too, about the world down here!

Mel said...

Hi Mary! Hi Nina!
Thanks for your visit.
I called my grandma yesterday, also found out that the tortoise was ok, apparently found out the way to the kitchen! So, I think I created a papaya-holic!

Susan Gets Native said...

It must be hard to tell if a tortoise is excited....

Mel said...

Hi Susan! Hahaha, your comment made me laugh... Well, you should have seen it, it was quite fast!

Mary C said...

Hi Mel - thanks for visiting my blog. I'm glad to see that the flamingos "triggered" something for you to write a new post. I'll comment on that later. I was so impressed with a number of your posts, especially this one. My mother-in-law (whom I loved very much) succumbed to dementia due to her diabetes. It is so hard to face the fact that when we get old some folks are "tired" and lose their zest for life - and it was difficult when Mom didn't recognize us anymore - so heartbreaking. I wish the best for your Grandma. And I'm sure glad to see the tortoise is doing well.

Mel said...

Hi Mary,

Thank you for visiting and sharing your story. Also thank you for the good wishes, hopefully things will be ok.

Your flamingos were perfect to remember :)