Yesterday evening, my mom steamed some red bean buns and asked me to bring some to my grandma's house. Since both my grandma and grandpa are already 80 years old, the meals are usually prepared by my mom and a few aunts. Today, it was my aunt's turn.
When I entered the house, the elderly couple was watching TV, playing a show called "Da Zhai Men" (The Grand Mansion). Ever since my grandma suffered from a gas accident a few years ago, her hearing has gradually deteriorated, and her memory has also become very poor in recent years. Whenever I come home, she can remember my name most of the time, but occasionally she forgets. When she saw me enter the door, she waved her hand and called me to sit next to her. I told my grandpa the reason for my visit and placed the buns on the table before sitting down next to my grandma.
Since my mom also made red bean soup at home, I didn't stay for long. I stood up and whispered in my grandma's ear that we had food at home and I should go back to eat. My grandma seemed to understand the general idea and said, "Why are you leaving? There are buns here, stay and eat." With a firm grip, she pulled me back to sit down. I smiled and looked at my grandpa. It wasn't easy to leave, so I sat back down.
My grandma started repeating what she had just said, "There's food here, eat before you leave."
After sitting with my grandma for a while, it was getting dark outside. I leaned over and whispered in her ear again, "We have food at home, I'm going back to eat. I have to leave." My grandma held my hand tightly and repeated several times for me to stay. I repeated a few more times that we had food at home, and only then did my grandma let go.
"Will you come back in the afternoon?" My grandma was confused again, mistaking the evening for the afternoon. It wasn't easy to explain to her that it was not noon anymore. Due to problems with her aging brain, she often couldn't remember the time of day. In recent years, it has become even more frequent. Sometimes, she wakes up after a nap and thinks it's morning, or she takes a nap at noon and thinks it's already evening.
At this moment, my aunt, who was cooking in the kitchen, came out. Seeing that I couldn't explain clearly, she hurriedly said, "He's coming, he'll come back in the afternoon." Finally, I was able to "escape," and my grandma let go of my hand.
Although my grandma is confused, it's unnecessary to take everything so seriously, such as the fact that it's evening now and I may not be able to come back for a few days. But every time, I still want to explain to my grandma, to make it clear to her that it's evening now, I'm going back to have dinner, and I'll come back in a few days. But this time, I didn't say much. I greeted my aunt and grandpa, and left the house.
As I got on the elevator, the feeling of my grandma holding my hand tightly suddenly reminded me of my grandmother who passed away many years ago.
It has been almost ten years since my grandmother passed away. At that time, I didn't have any excuses. I was young and didn't want to take a car back to my hometown to see my grandmother. I only went back once a year, on holidays and my grandparents' birthdays, and most of the time, I would return after having lunch.
My grandmother had lost the use of half of her body due to illness a long time ago, and she could only speak simple words. But every time, she would tightly hold my hand and say something loudly. I couldn't understand, and no one else could understand either. The adults could only guess what my grandmother meant and translate it to me, sentence by sentence. Looking back now, it was all about urging me to study hard. One of the few words my grandmother could say was "Beijing." She wanted me to go to Beijing for school. Now I'm 25 years old, and it seems like there's no hope of going to Beijing anymore.
Suddenly, I had another thought. The elderly spend their whole lives understanding their children and grandchildren, explaining things their whole lives, but it's only after becoming confused like my grandma that they have the opportunity to express their true thoughts. When it comes to "explaining things," there's food at home, and I should go back to eat. My grandpa understood me and tried to persuade my grandma to let me go. But my grandma, in her confusion, didn't understand. It was "unreasonable." She wanted me to stay and eat.
She's getting old, and I'm just going to college.
She has already aged.