By Caring Across member Christi Kurkjian
I’ve been my grandmother’s caregiver for almost nine years. I’m not going to lie and say it’s all fun and games to take care of my 95-year-old grandma. But I don’t regret one minute of it.
In 2005, my granddad passed away, and then my grandma hurt her back. Two years earlier, my mom had unexpectedly passed away, too.
My grandma realized she needed help — and I immediately knew I needed to be there for the woman who had done so much to care for me.
So at the age of 29, I left Dallas to move in with my grandma, in a tiny town that doesn’t even have a Starbucks (silly, I know).
I’ve had to quit grad school because I couldn’t balance both, my dating life has slowed down severely to say the least, and it’s hard to find time to see my friends.
But every morning, after I make a pot of coffee and give my grandma her first cup and she gives me a huge smile, or I help her get into bed at night, I’m reminded that it’s all worth it. This has made us so close. I think sometimes I can read her thoughts just by looking at her. Don’t get me wrong, we do argue — she’s a strong-headed woman and so am I! — but I wouldn’t trade the years I’ve had with her for anything.
Life is about honoring the people you love. And for me, the greatest honor is to take care of my grandma, in her home, where she feels safe and comforted.
A lot of people tell me that I should put her in a nursing home and go get a life, but I couldn’t disagree more. I tell them, I have a life! And my life right now is to be with her, for as long as she needs me.
This weekend is going to be all about celebrating my grandma — my sisters, my dad, and I have a special surprise planned for her today, and on Grandparents Day itself, I’m going to take her out for her favorite lunch — catfish and shrimp. I’ll be taking her to see an old friend, and I’m definitely getting her some flowers (even though she doesn’t like me spending money on her).
And I’m going to share this story on Facebook with all of my friends and family, and ask that they all celebrate their own grandparents, too.
I hope you can join me! How are you going to celebrate Grandparents Day tomorrow?