Last Sunday was Grandparents Day, and it made me miss my own grandparents, all of whom have passed away.
I especially miss my grandmothers – Ruby, who was a force of nature; and Sibyl, who was a sweetheart unless you did something she didn’t like. When that happened, she would give you the stink-eye until you did something to make her laugh, then forgive you. They were completely different, yet they both had a hand in shaping the woman I am today.
My grandmother Ruby died rather suddenly in 1997, and it was a shock because she was such a strong woman. She and I had a lot in common and similar no-nonsense personalities. I still miss her, but apparently the older I get, the more I become like her, which makes me smile.
My grandma Sibyl has been gone just under two years. She lived to the impressive age of 95 and was a guiding light for all of her grandchildren. When she became too frail to live alone, she moved in with my Mom, who cared for her, at home, until she died.
According to The National Council on Aging and the AARP, most seniors would prefer to spend their final years at home. Home is where their loved ones are, and the place they can wrap themselves in their memories like a warm blanket.
I am so grateful that both my grandmothers were able to do this but find it sad that many older adults are forced in to a care facility due to the lack of accessibility in their own homes.
That’s one reason I am so proud of the work we do at Rebuilding Together Valley of the Sun.
With help from generous supporters and volunteers, we make sure more than 300 seniors can age safely in place every year. And these individuals we serve report greater confidence, less isolation, and a more cheerful outlook. And all those factors lead to better health and a higher quality of life.
I am grateful for the opportunity to help seniors stay safe in their homes, honored every time I receive a smile of thanks, and thrilled to watch someone use their new ramp for the first time.
My grandmothers aren’t here to see this work, but I know they would both be pleased.