23 year old girl scientist, happily married to a man in uniform. In my 2nd year of my PhD, new home owner, and owner of 1 dog and 2 cats.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Hoping for death by 2065

I went down to Ocala last night to meet up with family in town. I visited with my Uncle Charlie, who is 90 years old. He just lost his wife a few months ago, and his son & daughter in law are driving him down to Miami to visit his sister, who just had a stroke. She is 91. And my Great Grandmother, GG, who is also their sister, is a ripe 94 years old. I have some killer genes in my family. Discussed these wonderful genes with Uncle Ed & Aunt Annette, and we all agreed we hope to go waaaaay before we're 90.

Why do I want to die younger? Because I never, ever want to turn out like my great grandmother. I definitely recognize tiny aspects of her in my own personality. She is a true Southern woman, born and raised in the south. She spent most of her life on the Florida Keys and has the wrinkles to show for it. She used to dance and party with the best of them, in the 30's and 40's. She had 7 brothers and sisters, a son, 4 grandaughters, and 8 grandchildren. A rich, happy life. A life that's now faded away from her and distant. Not in an Alzheimers way, either. This old woman is sharp as a tack. She still does the New York Times Crossword puzzle every morning. Then she sits in her rocking chair with her cup of coffee and Siamese cat on her lap, rocking away and thinking about all she's lost. Dwelling on her past, counting the number of phone calls she's received. Obsessing about how she's all alone, and doesn't get enough attention. She gets angrier and more bitter every time we talk.

It sounds awful, doesn't it? Me complaining about my poor old great grandmother. The thing is, I love her dearly. Except I don't ever want to call her, because all she does is remind me that I haven't visited her in X weeks or called her in X days. She's comment, "I guess you're too busy for your family now that you're married, and living in Gainesville." Nevermind that I work full time and am getting my PhD. Over Thanksgiving, I chastised my brother for not calling me back the week before.

"Hey, GG, chill out!" he teased me.
"Yeah, GG!" my mom chimed in, giggling.
"I'm not like that!" I defended myself.
They all said, "Sure, GG!"

I realized that yes, I do have a little of that in myself, but will make the conscious effort to curb that side of myself.


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