Today is my Grandma Rochon's 87th birthday...and she was admitted to the hospital last night with a lung infection.
And I thought that having to put my cat to sleep last year for my birthday was shitty.
I hate it that I can't be there to visit her in person right now. But I did call my favorite flower store in Wausau [Evolutions in Design] and ordered a huge birthday/get well bouquet that they'll be delivering today. My mom sent me her room number, so G and I will call to let her know we love her and are sending healing energy her way.
The good news [about her] is that she was never much of a smoker - quit when she was in her 30's, I believe, and she's really pretty healthy overall. She's far from a frail elderly woman. She's obese and has some circulation/joint problems, but she rarely gets sick...so I think she'll be able to fight this off.
The bad news *sigh* is that my mom told me that she's depressed a lot. A LOT. She lives with my parents, so she's not always alone, but her other kids [my aunt and uncle] hardly ever come up to see her. My uncle's got an excuse - he lives a few states away, but my aunt does not [she only lives a couple hours away]. Grandma Jeanette's grandchildren are all spread out all over the country too, so we don't all get to visit her as often as we'd like.
I call her for every special occasion, and sometimes not for any reason at all - just to see how she's doing. I send her cards and I send her flowers on her birthdays when I can afford it. I try to do everything that I can to make her feel loved, but the rest of my family often falls pretty short. Makes me sad for her...makes me sad for elderly people in general. That they often feel forgotten...I always envy Asian, Native American and Latino cultures because they have so much respect for their elders. Age is valued in those cultures, not alienated. Once again, America is so screwed up that way...fighting age and fearing it and running from it. I just hope that her depression doesn't take over and prevent her from getting well. I really want to see her in May when we go to Wisconsin for a week.
And today when I feel helpless, I just need to keep remembering that across the miles, I am doing all that I can to bring a smile to her face and to make her feel special on her birthday.