What Would Grandma Do? A Conversation about Confinement during Corona



We woke up on Monday to a very different world.


This thought came to me suddenly, "What would my grandmother say about the pandemic?"


She is currently living with advancing dementia, confined without visitors in a local care facility. At 88, her mind is no longer as sharp as before. She cries often, tears leaking down her face unbidden.


Just because she can't speak to it, doesn't mean I don't have her lifetime to glean from during this time.


Born in 1932, she lived through World War II and was a child of the Depression.


She also lived abroad in Africa without access to conveniences.

She did all that with three small children.

She saved everything.

She fought for equal education her dyslexic son.

She could sew anything.

She escaped by reading novels.

She adored old movies.

She loved croissants, bacon and gelato.

She was always prepared.


Here's what my grandmother, Marian, would say about this confinement: "After all, tomorrow is another day, " from her favorite movie character, Scarlett O'Hara.


{I am not saying that she would ignore the severity of the pandemic. After all, she was a medical assistant for over 25 years and a champion of public health.She would have had a stockpile of gloves and masks. She would have already had 100 rolls of toliet paper. She wouldn't need any hand sanitizer. In fact, we all would have gone "shopping" to her house first for one of the 17 bottles of disinfectant that she had stuffed into her overflowing laundry room}


But in the future, I hope that I will have taken on her perspective during our confinement--- to adopt an idea of time that older generations understand much better.


This is our time-- taking one day at a time-- and we can choose to savor the slowness.


My grandmothers had a very different idea of time than the one I am used to living in -- it was one I saw modeled during my childhood-- their long stretched out days, no sports, no events to rush to, a walk through the neighborhood to catch the newest blossoms, greeting the neighbors with a wave, a pot of soup on the stove and a good book to read at night.


Since I am so quickly goal oriented, my mind keeps racing to find a new sense of time. Am I doing enough? Should I tackle that project? Can I advance my children's education during this time?


But there is another time for that.


Today, I will try and savor this time.


Talk to you soon,

Nora


Ps. my best free resources for recipes and meal planning are on Pinterest here.



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