Fashion/Design, Hipstercrite Life

A Photo of a Young Woman’s Life Waiting to Happen

Working on some SXSW stuff for the blog today, but in the meantime, I wanted to share this photo of my grandmother as a teenager.

Right now it sits on my desktop and every hour or so, I pull it up to take a look at it. She’s so young, so happy.

My grandmother is 85 years old and her partner is in the hospital. His Alzheimer’s is starting to take over.

When I talked to my grandmother yesterday, she spoke like a woman who has nothing to look forward to. When I told her she should move to a warmer climate, she balked, “I’m at the end of my life.” When I told her that she should go out and spend time with friends, she said, “They’re all dead.” When I asked her if she will continue seeing Lionel every day at the hospital, she stated, “Yes, until one day he will forget me.”

Needless to say, it was the most uplifting conversation I’ve had in a long time.

Looking at this picture also makes me cry.

I wonder if this young woman fulfilled all her dreams.

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  • Reply Rachel March 6, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    my goodness is she (still) ever gorgeous. The light in her her eyes is exactly the same and she is just as beautiful to this day. I didn’t grow up with a Grandmother so your Grandma has always been this icon for me. The first day I met her, I though ‘this is who I hope to be someday'(feisty and fabulous!). Thank you for sharing this.

    • Reply Rachel March 6, 2012 at 6:33 pm

      …Now that I have read your post beyond getting lost in the photo, I just hope she knows how strangers find her to be amazing and how she finds that much more life is yet to be discovered and lived.

      • Reply hipstercrite March 6, 2012 at 6:34 pm

        Thank you so much for this, Rachel. I wish she could see that too, but she’s so different from Mom and I. She has always been the person who put others before her, so I’m not sure she knows how to enjoy something for herself. She’s fairly lost feeling right now.

  • Reply Chiara March 6, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Thanks for this. You made me cry and think to NY grandmother

    • Reply hipstercrite March 6, 2012 at 9:46 pm

      I’m sorry to make you cry! It made me cry writing it!

  • Reply Ashlynn Ivy March 6, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    I completely feel for you. A year ago, my grandmother was in the same state. Though my grandfather recently passed, she was his sole caretaker for years and managed to keep him at home until the last week of his life. Being in that position made her extremely depressed, and she never wanted to leave the house. I gave her notebooks to write in, tried to take her to dinner once a week. Nothing seemed to help. You may just have to wait it out.
    In my case, my grandmother recently joined a grief group and is finally smiling again. Keep using your creativity to deal, it’s the only thing you can do. Without knowing it, that’s how I was dealing with it as well:

    • Reply hipstercrite March 6, 2012 at 10:10 pm

      The problem is, ever since Grandma closed her business, she hasn’t had much motivation to go out and do things (other than go to the gym and out to dinner with Lionel). I’m not sure she has the self-motivation in her. I don’t know. I’d love for her to join a group, but our hometown is so freaking small.

  • Reply Simone March 12, 2012 at 1:33 am

    Your grandmother is beautiful!

    I’ve had similar conversations with people in my life. It’s so heartbreaking. I’m sure having you to talk to means a lot to her & you’re probably helping even though it doesn’t seem like it.

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