Two weeks ago I joined the legion of parents who opened their home to an adult child and, in my case, grandchild. They packed their bags in the NE and drove five days to the the NW. For the last twenty years we have seen each other at long intervals only. My solo life has been multiplied by three. Three times the expenses in some areas but also three times the help with home and garden.
Now respectively 72, 42, and 20 this is a chance to relate to each other as adult women at three very different stages of life. A chance also for me to re-visit my own relationships with my mother and grandmother, to ponder on the roles we play in the course of a lifetime and the legacy of memories.
For their own sakes I am anxious that they get permanent work but I am not impatient to see them go.
In January 1992, bypassing in their cages some showy long hair beauties and playful kittens, I chose instead a small 3 year old laid back cat to be my new companion. Just returned from a stay in South America and lacking inspiration, I named him for his color, Gris. (Pronounced Grrrrrisss). He turned out to be sociable and funny as well as a master hunter in his younger days when he presented me with unrequited mice and birds and remained baffled by my lack of gratitude. More than once in the early morning hours his deep throat purring warned me that a bird was flying about the house desperately trying to escape my leaping cat. With age, his skills diminished though just a couple of months ago I was stunned to find a (minuscule) mouse in the family room. Gris never met a stranger, never scratched or bit anyone and was mostly a peaceful neighbor to other cats. I used to joke that ours was my best and longest lasting relationship.
Last month his great age finally caught up with him. I miss his insistent morning calls for breakfast, his familiar presence on my desk, and his weight on my lap as I watch television.