Reflections written and shared by Samantha Star Straf
I grew up an only Grandchild, with all the spoiling that implies. Although there might be a request attached to something I asked for (Only if you bring home at least 3 A’s on your report card) I pretty much got everything I asked for (Except the pony, but I got horseback riding lessons). I got a lot over the years from Grandma Lila but mostly I remember things like reading my school books to her while she baked cookies or her wonderful dinner parties where I was treated as an adult in the conversation like everyone else.
Two years ago after a handling a number of ER trips via phone that were results from medication mistakes the decision was made that she should move from her independent living situation to an assisted care facility with medication management. Friends on the Kansas end of things (where she was living) helped get her on a plane for a visit to us here in DC and while she was here we looked at two such places in the area here and she agreed that as long as she was moving she should move here.
There have been ups and downs and times that she regrets moving and times that she doesn’t know where she is or who I am, but overall she is happy with the move and being close to family again. And my role has changed from spoiled grandchild to the one doing the spoiling and I now understand her joyous feelings all those years ago. Yesterday I braved the stand still traffic to drive around the tidal basin to let her enjoy the Cherry Blossoms out the window and the people and the ‘being in the center of it all’, we take annual trips to see the Washington Nationals play – she has no idea what the score is, but loves being at the ball game. And this summer will be her first trip to the Atlantic since she was 20 when we take her out to Rehoboth beach for a weekend.
Sometimes she argues with me that I do too much for her and I remind her of taking me to dinner in Paris, or the beach in Acapulco, or sewing me a new dress. It is nice to finally being able to pay some of that debt.