My Unspoken Thoughts - Top Submission for 2017 SeniorsZen Scholarship Award

Please enjoy reading one of the top essays submitted for 2017 SeniorsZen Scholarship Award by Nicole Kokolski, “My Unspoken Thoughts”:

My Unspoken Thoughts

I’m scared. Everyone is talking about me, but they speak too fast and I can’t understand what they are saying. I know they mean the best for me, however, I feel like a child who can’t speak up or defend herself. They don’t listen to me and think I’m going nuts. Sometimes I wonder if I am. I frequently can’t distinguish dreams from reality, and I hear words from my mouth that I don’t recognize.

I miss him. We were independent; he took me out every day and cared for me when I couldn’t. Now I rarely get to go out. He cleaned up after me, made sure I took my pills and ate. I wish I had expressed more gratitude for these little things because I know I was not the easiest to get along with. I had nowhere to call home when he passed away so suddenly. I always thought that I would be the first to leave this life. I tell him every day how much I miss him.

I’m lonely. I was moved to this care home so I could have people to look after me. Living in this room, while there are so many others around in similar situations, I still feel lonely. I feel like a burden on my family. I know they care about me but I often feel useless, neglected, and depressed. Although I realize that I can only get the care I need in this home, it has been and continues to be a difficult transition.

I worry. Everyone I am close to has their own struggles and I worry about them. I pray that God can help protect them every day and that things will get better. My granddaughter calls me a worrywart, and I know I am, but I can’t help it. I simply want everyone to be happy and be able to enjoy life to the fullest. It brings me delight when I can go over to my daughter’s and help with dishes and clean up. Or give the grandkids money to help pay for their education. I enjoy feeling like what I’m doing is useful. After all, what is there for me in this life if I can’t help others?

I dream. Mostly of times when the kids and grandkids were younger and when we helped to care for them. When they would spend the night and we would drive them to school the next day. When we would attend their sporting and school events and they would come give us big hugs and be overjoyed to see us. They would always give us gifts for Christmas, birthdays and holidays, but the best gift was their time they spent with us. Now the children are all grown up, off to college, and I am so proud of them. I cherish the moments when they succeed and I want nothing but the best for their future. But I miss them. I miss how involved we all were as a big family.

I need them. I’ve done my part, and now I need my family more than ever. I need them to remind me of the ways in which I helped them, and how they still need me today. I need them to spend time with me, call me when they think of me, write me when they can. I know it’s difficult because the grandkids have moved out and moved on and I really wish it were simpler. I need my grandkids to read to me, to do my hair, pick out my clothes, take me out for lunch. All the little things we did for them, I am now in need of it in return. Most of all I need the company, to not feel lonely and as if this life I have is wasting away.

Be patient with me, I beg of you. The frustration I hear in your voice or the way you act saddens me. I know it is difficult, as I also lose the patience that I have for myself.  Be understanding, as you are aware of my situation and how much I am struggling. I am not trying to be difficult to manage.

Remember me. Not as the crazy old lady who has changed for the worse. But as the kindhearted woman who would make you breakfast in the morning, bathe you as a child or braid your hair. Remember how I would go out of my way just to help you succeed, how I was present for all your highs and lows, and how I helped teach you the key things in life.

Because in the end, this change in me is inevitable, but I will always be your loving Granny.

 

Written by Nicole Kokolski

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