My Grandmother Wants To Come Back Home by Oyindamola Thomas

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It’s been two years now since my mum took my grandmother to the old people’s home in Yaba, Lagos. Before that movement, grandma lived with us in Surulere for about five years and she was 84years.  Grandma demanded attention for almost everything, but that didn’t change the fact that she was full of humour. She always wanted the contrary of everything we all wanted and she was serious about it; cold water for bathing when we thought the weather condition demanded us to have warm baths, and the other way round too.

It was a Saturday morning in December, 2010, and mum walked to me and announced she had concluded plans to take grandma to be with other old people. “She will be better off there”, she said. But I was taken by surprise at this move from mum. She wasn’t going back on her decision, not even if I expressed an otherwise feeling about it. Her reason (which I considered excuses) for grandma’s relocation to the home was that there was no one available to take care of her. Mum said that uncle’s wife would not be able to give grandma proper care because she was a young mother who was nursing a set of twin children. She was newly promoted and that meant greater demands on the job. I was preparing for my senior certificate examination and mum didn’t think I could cope with grandmas care-giving.

I got so worried because grandma shared a lot with me while mum was away to work.  Grandma always kept a portion of her ogi and akara for me, and her lunch waited until I got back from school. She asked always if I was fine and encouraged me to make amala and  ewedu my favourite food. Mum didn’t buy my idea of getting a nanny to come in at certain times to take care of grandma. She had a bagful of fears, so a nanny was not the solution for grandma to stay back with us.  Grandma agreed to go to the home after mum convinced her and packed up bags of food and other items she could share with other old people.

Mum’s initial promise of going to visit grandma at least once weekly, started dwindling.  She felt there were good and caring care-givers in the home, and that as long as she was making provisions, she needed some rest from all the troubles. My exams over, my hopes of having grandma back home got slimmer. And every time I go to see her in the home, she wanted me to bring her back to the home she once knew. I’m sad because my uncle and his wife also think mama was better off being in the home where she was being cared for.

I’m asking mum to allow grandma come back to us for a while before I go back to school but she thinks there could be a challenge taking her back. I asked her if she wanted grandma to live the rest of her life in the home, but she did not give me a definite answer. I love grandma and want her to be with her family, so my plans have been pushed to when I’m done with schooling. I’m praying that she remains alive until I’m able to take care of her. But now I also think that mum should know that where grandma is today, may just be good for her when she’s this old! What do you think?