Some months ago my grandparents in Montreal were going through health woes. The Canadian side of my family is spread throughout the world, with the nearest family member being 500 Km away. Not much held me in Puebla, Mexico, so I volunteered to help them out. My family agreed it was a good idea, but when the idea was presented to my grandparents, it was met with resistance. Both of my grandparents are over 90 years old, so I knew it would be a matter of time before the need of my presence would become obvious to them, so I begun tying loose ends in preparation for this moment.
My grandmother had suffered a fall which put her in the hospital, since my grandfather could not provide the necessary care she was put into a nursing home. My grandfather was supposed to move in with her, but my lineage seems to be obstinately independent, so he decided to stay at their apartment and visit my grandmother every day. Things were stable for some time, but my grandmother was mightily unhappy at the nursing home and my grandfather wanted to bring her back into the apartment.
It was then when he consented to having me with them to help them out with the move. We planned my arrival for early January, however, a week before arriving my grandfather also suffered a fall, and the nearest family members arrived to provide care. My grandfather grew weaker by the day and was taken to the hospital. There he was diagnosed with Covid, and for some days his health seemed to be improving, but suddenly, two days before my arrival, his health deteriorated and the hospital let us know it was likely he wouldn't make it through the night.
Since it was impossible to visit him at the hospital, the staff allowed us to communicate through a video conference. We all took turns saying words of appreciation to him. It was obvious to us all that he would soon pass away, instead of wishes for recuperation, we spoke words of love and farewell. He seemed to understand while being in great suffering, gasping for air he said he wanted to go home. I ignore if he meant this literally or metaphorically--probably both. Thirty minutes after our video conference ended, he passed away.
I knew my presence was still necessary, it would only change the purpose of my presence in Montreal. There were many affairs to tackle after my grandfather's demise, and my grandmother would still want to move out of the nursing home back into the apartment which they shared.
It was decided that the funeral would be held in some months time, on the birthday of my grandfather in June. However, his body would be cremated and the funeral home asked us if there would be any family members present. I went with my uncle, my aunt, my grandmother, and we had a final farewell to the progenitor of my father's side of the family.
We spent a couple of days together in Montreal, bringing my grandmother for dinner at the apartment every day. We were allowed to take her out of the apartment only three hours at a time because of Covid restrictions.
Today my uncle and my aunt went back to Toronto, and I was left alone at the apartment. It is now that I found the time and the solace to write these words. In two weeks time I will bring my grandmother back into her apartment, and I will support the transition with the help of nurses. This period of my life will surely be full of lessons, so I will use this venue to write about the narrow slivers of understanding that I will obtain through this experience.