Does Mother Nature even call the shoots or is she working with an omen as an accomplice? There are forces at work that are keeping my grandmother a live past the usual threshold of 90 and for the life of me, I can’t fathom why on Earth God hasn’t taken her yet.  

Everything that should kill her, hasn’t. The woman has fallen three times in the last few days. She has Diabetes Type 2, along with a heart condition and suffers from a mean case of Dementia. Not to mention, she has a narcissistic personality and likes barking orders at people, especially me. Still, no deathbed. 

The irony of the situation is that she’s actually killing my mother and I. Every hour, she asks “where am I?”, “When are we going home?” and “Where’s my money at?” like a 1-hour song loop of that annoying Everything Is Awesome song from The Lego Movie. When my mother is in the kitchen doing her hair or downstairs working in the basement on her home projects, my grandmother paces back and forth around the house on her walker, looking for her. The sound of her dragging her feet along the hard wood floors makes flares go up and down my spine. I’m too the point where just saying “hi” to her in the mornings makes my teeth grind. 

Watching her today just reminded me of how ill-tempered I am around her. My mother was doing her hair in the kitchen, as she usually does on Sundays. My grandmother and I were sitting in the living room with music from the stereo playing on a low volume. The cable had been out since 12pm, so we had limited options as far as distractions went. 

My grandmother and I talked for a few minutes before she’d say teasingly, “I’m gon’ ask yo’ mama something!” which triggered my frustrated reply, “What do you need to ask her, grandma?” This exchange went on at least a good hour and a half, before my grandmother yelled at me to “shut-up”. This hadn’t been the first time she told me that and wouldn’t be the last. Rather than “taking things with a grain of salt” as my mother often told me to do, I couldn’t ignore my knee-jerk reaction to tell her off. 

“Don’t tell me to shut-up! That is rude and disrespectful! I will not be talked to that way.” Somehow my response painted me as being the disrespectful one. 

I could’ve said worse. I have said worse to other people. But I didn’t. I respect my elders and make it a point to never swear in front of them or my mother, or at least, wait until I’m in my room on the second floor, where I can unload freely without any inhibitions. Sometimes I slip though, but lucky for me, my grandmother is going death in both her ears. I’ve even said I hate her, while sitting in the chair right next to her. She didn’t even hear it and a part of me, wishes she did. 

My mother has been hospitalized twice for stressed-related illness since my grandmother has been home. Most days she looks so drained that she barely says two words. She always says she’s fine but I know the truth. My grandmother is killing her slowly, chipping away at her sanity and mines. The more enraged I get, the sicker mom gets. 

Half her brother and sisters have already gone, and the ones remaining have their own personal demons to deal with. I know I shouldn’t resent them, but I can’t help but think they’d help out more, my mother would be healthy. 

Most people don’t wish ill-intentions on their family members because it’s cruel and disrespectful. But I’d be telling a lie if I said it hadn’t wished for her death more than once. I hope for the day my grandmother passes on, so that she finally can be at peace. So that my mother could be at peace.   


Written by Aja Dandridge

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