Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Returning to Timor

Tomorrow I return to Timor Leste after a long, somewhat relaxing, break in the US. I had a chance to hike a few hills and mountains, commune with nature, visit some friends and spend a lot of time with family.

In some ways, it was a difficult visit. My grandmother, the woman who essentially raised me, passed away two days after Christmas.

I was lucky to be able to spend time with her beforehand. She lived a long, rich life. She was 99, but looked much younger. At times, she was amazed at her long life. She told one of her health care workers just a day or two before her death -- "can you imagine living 99 years?"

I would joke with her that she was around before the Bolshevik Revolution -- and then she outlived it. My grandma passed away almost five months to the day that she would have been 100.

My other grandma, who is 91, lives in a nursing home and I was able to visit with her every day. When I first saw her, she was lying in her bed, curled up, eating almost nothing -- and when she spoke -- it was in a whisper.

I was so lucky to see her come out of this -- her appetite came back -- at first I fed her, but she was soon sitting up in bed and eating on her own. She loved for me to push her around in her wheelchair -- and she loves to laugh. It was very difficult to leave her. She is in good hands with my mom.

I think it is so amazing how we humans love to be touched -- I rubbed my grandma's face and forehead -- and held her hand -- I could feel her responding to being touched. It is so vital to human life and re-generation.


Eric said...

Very sorry to hear about your grandmother. But it sounds like she lived a good and rich life, and touched many people in a good way.
And - it seems - she had a wonderful influence on you!

Radio Nomad said...

thanks. she was truly a remarkable human being.