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Posted on July 8th, 2006

I just saw my dad mouth-feeding my grandma. It was heart-warming and heart-breaking at the same time.

A few nights ago, I was thinking about what I could do to help him. I visit from time to time, but it doesn’t feel like enough. It then occurred to me that I could take a co-op term off so that I could stay at home to look after my grandma. I’d be able to provide the kind of 24-hour support that she needs, too.

I feel as though I owe it to her. After all, she was the one that looked after me when I was really little. Despite a language barrier that has existed for the better part of 20 years, she has shown me so much love and support.

I predict, however, that my dad would have nothing of the idea. I fully expect him to say that I should focus on school and work. And I can’t really blame him, either; I am close to finishing and it seems like the near future is brimming with opportunities.

That said, I can’t help but consider my priorities. My real priorities. Yes, I could take advantage of the opportunities that lie just ahead of me and make it big in the world. In doing so, though, I can’t help but feel that I would have sacrificed an opportunity to show real love. And courage. And patience.

Would I feel good about myself if I were materially wealthy while my grandma got put into a nursing home, away from the family with whom she has lived for nearly 30 years?

This question burns inside of me.

I can see how a nursing home could do her a lot of good; she’d have people with whom to talk, qualified personnel to take care of her, and well-organized days with her specific needs in mind. But I can see how it can be a huge mistake, too. She may feel abandoned by her family, she could feel scared of new surroundings, and she could just not have a good time there.

I feel that this is a chance to do something remarkable with (some of) my life. But I don’t know what to do or say about it. Should I love my grandma and sacrifice part of my life for her? Should I love my dad and do what he wants me to do?

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