In The End
I am only 23 years old, naive and cheery. I don’t usually spend much time pondering death, other than when I’m hungover and clinging onto the side of the toilet. I have a grandmother who lives near me. When I visit her, she always makes sure I fill up on her delicious home-cooked West Indian food and take home cakes and macaroni pie with me. My grandmother was the woman who raised me since infancy while my mother was out working to support three children by herself. She fondly recalls my first wobbly steps, my love of spaghetti as a six year old and my kind nature. In my eyes, my grandmother has always looked the same throughout the years. Even now, she hasn’t seem to have aged much since I was six. But I know, as it takes her just a little longer to walk down the stairs or get out of the car, that she won’t be alive forever.
My sister and I are both child-free. I boldly asked her on her recent 27th birthday if she is going to have a baby with her partner and she said, incredulously “No, are you insane?!”. While my childfreedom allows me to work and enjoy time with my friends; my sister has a better job that allows her to travel, buy nice toys like her motorcycle and white car and that snazzy loft. She hosts amazing parties with hip DJs and all her Facebook photos have long lines of comments because she’s known for her lavish lifestyle, expensive style and her great parties. She’s pretty much where I want to be in 5 years (or now…).
My grandmother never expected me to have children. She said she spent her whole life taking care of children, well into her retirement, and that she would’ve liked to have seen the world. I know my grandmother loves being surrounding by loved ones. I love my grandmother deeply. She is patient, kind, funny, witty and wise. Sometimes I feel guilty I didn’t endow her with grandchildren for her to dote on in her last dying years. But it wouldn’t make sense to do something so permanent just for the short-term enjoyment of someone else. So now, when I visit my grandmother, instead of her teaching me how to change a diaper or warm infant formula, we sit on the couch and sip whiskey–reminiscing about the “old days”. I hear stories of what it is like growing up on our small island, with no electricity and no airport. I listen to what it is like to come to a cold, foreign country for the first time. I enjoy these moments with my grandmother. There won’t be any more little feet for her to take care of, but she will always have my love.