We have just had a very emotional visit to Seb’s great grandma. At 99 (and a half!), we are never sure how we will find her and her health has markedly deteriorated in the last year. This year is the first year she will not be able to spend Christmas at our house (well, my parents house), which is obviously sad for us all and signifies the end of an era, so the visit was already a poignant one.
We arrived, not knowing how she would be or if she would even recognise us, but she was bright and cheery and sitting looking smart and festive in her green dress and reindeer ears.
The environment is quite a tough one for small children, unusual sights and sounds and smells – I can remember visiting my own great grandma when I was little and it is quite daunting. Seb’s siblings kept their quiet distance and watched on.
But Seb marched in purposefully, straight up to his “wait wait grandma” as he calls her, and handed her her presents. He commented on her reindeer ears. The effect they had on each other was beautiful to watch. Holding each other’s hands, Seb chatted away about Christmas and the pictures on the wall. He asked about her wheelchair and walking frame. He also sternly told Grandma not to eat too “much” chocolates before her dinner or she would get fat. He spotted a picture on the wall (that is also at my parents) of Seb’s great granddad “who broke his heart” – passed away many years ago from a heart attack. He showed her the correct way to wave to elves (wiggle your hands on your ears and say “mince pies”) and asked for a high five.
One of the most moving moments though was when Seb said something that Grandma didn’t understand. We explained that she couldn’t hear very well and immediately Seb started signing to her. All the while holding hands and Grandma planting kisses on the back of his hand.
It is something I’ve blogged about before, but Seb’s emotional intelligence and empathy levels are so high. And possibly the most ironic thing about him is he never labels people and always sees the person within.He never judges and always sees the best in everyone. This both whams my heart and breaks it.
A really lovely meeting that certainly compensated for the sadness we felt about Grandma not coming for Christmas and a meeting we will treasure forever.