When roles are reversed

I watch her getting so excited about the progress she makes. “Look at me. I can stand without holding on. Look I dried the dishes. Look I can reach on top of the fridge.” She stands tall and proud.

My grandmother is recovering from a recent stroke and heart attack. At the time, we thought we were losing her. Our next fear was that she’d never walk again. But she is a fighter. Just like she has taught me to be. She now walks with a walker and is eager to use her cane. “Look I walked the entire hallway with my cane.” Every day she is progressing more and more.

As I am washing the dishes with her assistance, I can’t help but remember those days when our roles were reversed. I am used to her cheering me on whether it was walking in the snow or attempting to ride a bike. I am used to her making me wash those dishes over again until they are perfectly spotless. I am used to her being my biggest cheerleader. Now I am hers.

“Now, where’s my dessert?” She asks every night after dinner. She can no longer smoke so food has become her comfort. Again, I have to smile at how cute she has become and how much she reminds me of myself. Maybe she is a little bossier. She reminds me she is not a child. She will always be the boss. She still worries about me falling more than about herself. She is adorable and she is fragile. I am there when she is scared. I am there when she is tired. I remind her of how strong she is and assure her that she is safe. I am now her rock just as she has always been mine. There is no greater privilege.

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