Friday, August 14, 2015

This Week with Grandma

I just discovered something about myself.

Something which may be helpful to any number of people who cross my path.

Here it is: If you want to get on my good side, do something which makes my grandma happy.


I guess the principle has been around since well before my grandmother moved into my house, but it has become so much more obvious since then. Specifically, last week Grandma had some pain on the roof of her mouth. And when I say "some pain" I mean she didn't feel like she could eat, and she was miserable.
I have always liked my dentist and called them to see if she could come in for a quick exam. And since my dentist is very accommodating, I was not surprised - pleased, but not surprised - when they gave her an appointment for the very next day.
Let me just say, it would have been enough for me if they had simply greeted her the way they did. Everyone in the office came out to meet Grandma. They treated her almost like a queen. And she was enjoying it. In the exam room, people were equally as kind. And that was wonderful, too.
But Dr. Baker went absolutely over the top.
He spoke gently to Grandma, and listened patiently to her stories. Even the ones which had nothing to do with the pain in her mouth. He touched her arm when he spoke to her, and smiled at her, and made sure to explain everything clearly. He, himself, went and got something to help her mouth feel better. And Grandma was delighted by the time Dr.Baker spent on her. (She told me on the way home, "He is really smart, to have figured out what was wrong with my mouth!" But I think she would have thought the world of him regardless. Because he was so kind.)
All the rest of that day I was gushing to whoever would listen to me (just like I am now...) about how great my dentist is. Because everyone there made my grandma feel so happy.
And somewhere in the midst of my reflections on the subject, I realized the principle carries over to other people. For example, I might be irritated with Josh for something like not unloading the dishwasher. But then I hear him go into Grandma's room and ask about the birds. Suddenly her voice gets all happy and the two of them discuss gold finches and cardinals, and I am over the dishwasher bit.
Or, I get annoyed because Matthew has allowed himself to get distracted again instead of doing the chore I've asked of him (100 times!). But when he walks through the dining room and says good morning to Grandma and I hear how happy his attention makes her, I decide his attention deficits in other areas can be forgiven.
I guess when it comes down to it, I just really want my grandmother to be happy and feel loved.
And if you can to that for her? I'll be your best friend!


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