Friday, January 15, 2010

Casting A Shadow

"Casting a Shadow" influencing, changing the dynamics of our family...

My bringing my father to live with us wasn't planned or thought of, at least by me.  I didn't grow up with grandparents to care for.  My father's mother lived with my aunt and her family. 

For a very short period of time, when I was three years old, my mother's father stayed with us, for days or weeks, I doubt if anyone remembers how long.  At that time my grandmother was already dead.  My brother was a tiny infant and I remember that my grandfather stayed in my room.  I remember his talking to me, but I have no idea of the topics.  Sometimes I wonder if he, the most religiously observant of all of my grandparents, had spoken to me of Judaism.  Maybe he planted the seeds which contributed to my becoming religious.  My mother, fearing for his health, insisted that the walk to the local shul (synagogue) would be too far.  Forbidden attending shul and being with other religious Jews, he wouldn't stay with us.

My grandchildren are now growing up knowing their "grandpa," which is what they call their great-grandfather.  I no longer am able to help care for them once or twice a week as I did ever since the eldest was born.  That's a loss for all of us.

But at least they're being raised knowing that taking care of an elderly parent or grandparent is part of the cycle of life.

A continuation in the saga of taking care of my elderly father...

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