I wrote recently about my grandpa and the things that don’t change but thinking about the things that are constant also has me thinking about the things that do change.
What would it be like, I wonder to be him in 2020?
I catch a glimpse of it when I help my grandma sometimes.
“What do you do with that phone anyhow?” She asks one time.
And then the next time, “I have some sweet potatoes that I’d like to make into chips. Your mom thought you could maybe pull up some instructions for me.”
And so I find the YouTube video and while the nice young man explains to grandma that making sweet potato chips is really quite easy, I mop the floor and clean the bathroom and think about what it would be like to be her.
To live in a world that you don’t really understand and know that you never really will.
“You don’t have to move the chair to vacuum,” she says a minute later. “You can just sweep around it.”
I am puzzled for a moment. It’s a small chair -easier to move than to sweep around.
And then I realize. It’s not easy for her to move. Her bones creak and ache. A weight that is easy for me to carry is difficult for her.
She asks me about her daughters who live in Haiti. She doesn’t email, or text, or use social media.
We talk about my little trouble maker at school and I tell her about the wobble cushion and the sensory balls that help him to be calmer and she looks sad.
“There’s so much we didn’t know when I was young,” she says. “So many children who suffered because we didn’t know better.
And that is I think, the hard part of being 90 years old in 2020.
Knowing the things now that you needed to know so long ago, but didn’t.
And at the same time not being able to keep up with the things from the world today.
Living in between.
I think that’s why they feel alone.