Due to the death of my grandmother- I’m reposting articles this week… I hope they touch you in some way during this Christmas season.
She’s lonely. She’s bored. She’s depressed and feeling useless.
And I feel… well…helpless and frustrated with a side order of confused. I just don’t get it. the truth is, there are answers to most of her issues- just outside her door. If she’d open it, that is, which she will not.
After a collapse and a month in the hospital, our family had to transfer my grandmother to an assisted living center. We knew she wouldn’t be a fan, but thought she’d adjust, in time. We carefully packed up things to help her feel at home and set up her new apartment. It didn’t help.
It’s a beautiful place, the staff is terrific, her neighbors are great and welcoming, but it isn’t home. She wants to go home. The families goal is to get her home.. but- we honestly don’t know if or when, that can happen. It’s hard to see her so upset. It’s hard to not have any answers about when she can go home.
It’s also frustrating knowing that she COULD make the best of it, but isn’t. It’s hard to know that she doesn’t HAVE to be lonely, but is. It’s hard to know that it’s for the best and necessary and that she hates it anyways. It feels like ramming your head into a wall trying to convince her to try and connect. It’s sad to see her answer the door when someone knocks only to hold the door at a crack and speak through it instead of going out or inviting someone in. It’s hard for everyone, but especially for gramma.
“It isn’t home. ” Is all she can say, when we try to talk her into making the best of it… She’s right of course, it isn’t home.
While driving back from a recent visit, I felt overwhelmed, afraid and frustrated. I cried out to God: (ok, I yelled at him.. I do that sometimes…) “I don’t get it! She doesn’t HAVE to be miserable! Why is she being so stubborn? It’s hurting HER! All she has to do is open the door! I don’t get it!”
“You don’t? Are you sure?” Was the un-expected response. Since no one else was in the car.. I knew that either my conscience or my God had spoken. Either way.. I also knew the voice was right. I DO get it.
I’ve been there, on the other side of the door, refusing to open it.
Until a few years ago, we’d been a very active part of a local church. We loved our church. We loved the people and the ministry that God had called us to while there. It was an integral part of our lives. Sadly, things happened and we had to leave.
Since- we’ve visited several churches…but just haven’t found a place to call “home.” We’ve spent several months at churches.. visiting- getting to know people.. and then leaving, because it wasn’t Home.
On that drive.. I realized I’ve been acting a lot like my gramma. Standing behind a closed door- talking to people through the cracked door with the chain on. Maybe it’s time for me to stop being so stubborn, make the best of it even if it’s not “home” and open the door.
Maybe- just maybe I’ll find I’m already at my new home… all I have to do is open the door.. maybe that’s all you have to do too.