I visited my grandma when I was 20 in her nursing home in San Pablo, California. She moved there after my grandfather, whom she had spent 58 bickering years with, died. She was sliding downhill from the effects of Parkinson’s disease, which put her lucid mind at the mercy of a rapidly disintegrating body.
One night while visiting her, we went to a Chinese takeout restaurant down the block from the home. The walk was painfully slow and long. My once solid and tall, German-born grandma inched her walker to the florescent-lit, formica-tabled destination.
After we ordered, my grandma revealed her hidden agenda. She brought up the memoirs my grandpa self-published shortly before dying, in which he made ample and glowing references to his first love (not my grandma). It was well-known in the family that he maintained an affair with this woman for many decades. Meanwhile, he included a few passing and indifferent references to my grandma. She was destroyed by this and wanted to let her grandson know. Moreover, she believed there were hidden chapters of the memoir where he expanded on his love for this other woman.
My 84 year-old grandma sobbed and pleaded, petitioning me to get my dad to giver her these chapters. I knew nothing, nor wanted to.
She had spent nearly 60 years carrying around resentment and hurt toward my grandfather. Now, at the end of her life, there was no redemption, no healing, no resolution—just an embittered old woman with a crippled body weighed down by a huge chip on her shoulder.
Time heals nothing. It just gives our problems wrinkles.
Most of us walk around like there’s a good time to get started on something, to address something that bothers us, to communicate something important. We wait around for the right time. When this time strikes, our lives will begin. We’ll grow into the majestic creatures we know we were meant to be. We think we’re late bloomers.
It’s bullshit. We’re not late bloomers. We’re procrastinators. And most procrastinators die never having done the things they wanted to do, never addressing that which was important, never communicating that thing that had to be communicated.
There is no right time other than now. Just a reminder.