When I was a child, I used to think that grown-ups could do whatever they wanted to, whenever they wanted to.
Now that I'm a grown-up, I know better.
Being a grown-up means that you have to do things that you really don't want to, because it's the right thing to do. Today I went to visit my grandma. It breaks my heart when I visit her, so I don't like to visit because it's too painful to me. The fact that J is terrified of my grandma doesn't help make me go, because trying to deal with a screaming toddler while Grandma doesn't understand why he's screaming because she can't hear well enough for to tell her just doesn't work well.
Anyway. She was curled up on her bed, not asleep, but in a pretty hazed-out morphine high. I held her hand, she squeezed mine back. Her eyes didn't focus on anything, didn't even look up at me. I watched her lay there, sometimes closing her eyes like a small child trying to pretend they're asleep, curled up like a mouse that's been too long in this world. After a few minutes, I kissed her cheek and said goodbye. Her skin was soft, like warm silk over her too-bony cheek.
The hospice care woman was there when I left. Grandma hasn't been eating. She's getting morphine every 4 hours because she can't swallow her Oxycontin. The pain in her legs is so great that she really can't move or anything even with the painkillers.
I cried as I was leaving, silent tears streaming down my face. I have a feeling this is the last time I'm going to get to see her.
But that's what grown-ups do. They do things that hurt and they do things they don't want to, because they need to be done.