Connecting with Family

Miss D’s nephew and granddaughter came separately for visits over the weekend. It’s wonderful to have good family members return into her life. It was the first time I let myself be truly happy. A huge weight of responsibility was lifting from me – I never knew how heavy it was until a phone conversation with the nephew.


City park crossing photograph by Nancy Oatts

I was driving off the highway and saw this woman crossing the street. She was smiling and she looked like Ma walking out of the park with another lady. It was Ma! I stopped and got out of the car. “Ma, it’s me!” It felt so good to see her enjoying herself outside.

I could hear in the nephew’s voice, he was moved by this experience. It made me emotional as I pictured Miss D’s face without the anxiety I saw every week for over a year when she asked me, “When are you taking me home.” I knew the nephew experienced this, too with Miss D and he stopped going to see her at her secured location. It felt strange to be connecting with the nephew who disappeared from Miss D’s life for over 10 years. I like him, though, his heart is in the right place.

The granddaughter is a harder read. Although, she was pleasant with me this past week and thanked me for cleaning Miss D’s apartment, there is an underlying tension of mistrust. It goes both ways. I’m feeling more like she’s saying to me, “You can go now.”

I know she may be carrying shame for what her father did to her grandmother. She left the care of Miss D in her father’s supervision and it was a mistake.

Do you ever think a family member is capable of elder abuse?