Last weekend was absolutely beautiful, especially in my off and away land in Central Kentucky. I was fortunate enough to spend the entire weekend at home and spend some time with visiting family. My cousin, who also lives on the family property, has three kids--two sons and a daughter--and their dad took them fishing at our pond on Saturday.
The oldest son is almost 10 and I believe the other is going on 8 while her daughter just turned 5. Their dad, quite fond of fishing, was excited to hear from the hubs that the pond was seeming to be quite full of fishies as of late and was more than happy to take the kids over.
Meanwhile, my grandmother, fondly referred to as Grammo by me and many others, was having one of those mornings/days where she was slow to get moving. At age 87, she is typically overwhelmed in a day's time with so many "tasks" that include taking morning, lunch, dinner and night pills and supplements, getting her knee brace and foot pads on and getting her "walking" in. With early alzheimers, she is often times discouraged by the things she no longer feels capable of doing. We have all learned, though, that her best days are those when she gets outside--which is more often with the spring weather.
My cousin got helped her fix up a lunch plate and the two of them came out to the patio to eat and enjoy the fresh air. I joined them about the time the kiddos were making it back from the pond. Grammo had just heard where they'd been and was quite excited, asking them about their fishing fun. "Gosh," she said. "I can just remember doing that! I feel like I still could sometimes!" and she'd mimic casting. Conversation went on to other topics and we sat on the patio for the next 30 minutes or so chatting. About the time I was off to other things Grammo brought the focus back to fishing repeating a comment similar to the one earlier.
That was it, we weren't letting the opportunity pass her by or let her sit there and think her fishing days were over. "Let's go, Grammo. We'll take you." She mildly resisted, but I think it was more out of being considerate and not wanting to impose on us--knowing she couldn't go it alone. My cousin and I went for a pile of dirt with a cup and the kids helped us gather a collection of worms. Jon drove her across the creek and we brought a folding chair and set it along side the pond. Clay, who'd been doing the fishing with the kids earlier, cast out the line and handed over the reel.
In the next 20 minutes, Grammo caught FIVE fish. Two bass and three blue gill (or maybe it was the other way around...) Two narrowly escaped, but that was partially out of letting the kids help her reel in those two. She caught one on that very first cast. There's no doubt, that Grammo has still got it. When the kids gave it a try she was right next to them coaching them along, "Okay, start to reel it in some... oh there's one! Jerk it! Jerk!"
It was such a joy for those of us there to see Grammo truly living in the moment and enjoying herself. So often she'll tell us about the dreams she has and the things she gets done and can do; but wakes up and feels trapped in a body prohibiting her desires. Last weekend we got to not just let her live out something she usually just dreams about at night, but we had the chance to prove to her that she's not incapable of all of the things she loves to do.
For us, it was a blessing to spend this time with our grandmother we love so much and get so many laughs out of. Such busy lives we lead...but there are always more important things worth slowing down to appreciate. It was definitely a "stop and smell the roses" opportunity.