Loneliness and Costco

Yesterday we did our norm: lots of academically inspiring activity AKA Geocards (Geography and Math), Arthur (Science, Math, Socioemotional) and making lists (ELA).

Then Granny called. Granny’s son was recently diagnosed with cancer at the base of his tongue. He is 51 years old. It is caused by HPV which he contracted during oral sex with an infected partner. He had a lump in his throat, what he thought was a swollen saliva gland. It had spread to his lymph nodes by the time it was discovered. He is undergoing chemo and radiation. He will have no use of his salivary glands and be unable to taste for an undetermined period of time, but probably a year or more. He will need therapy to learn to talk and swallow. This is her baby.

These are how conversations with Granny go:

Granny : Is there anywhere you need to go today?

Me: Not in particular but if you want us to go somewhere with you, we’d be happy to.

G: No, I was just seeing if you needed anything, I’ll talk to you later.


5-10  minutes later.

G: Wanna go to Costco?

Sure, but I don’t have any money this week because we have a repair on the house we have to pay for.

G: No problem. If you see something you need, you can pay me next week.

So she comes, and we go.



On the way home we talk about her feelings regarding her son’s treatments. She was going to drive him daily the two hours up and back to receive his treatments and was looking forward to spending quality time with him. Suddenly, plans changed and his wife took leave from work to take him these next two months to treatments.

G: Nobody needs me anymore.

Wouldn’t you rather be wanted than needed?

G: No.

History: There have been many times I have desperately NEEDED someone to just BE with, especially during my early days of becoming a mother and if I showed up at her house, she all but told me to get out. When I had my first baby, after having been an only child and she was the only one who could have helped me, TWO DAYS ya’ll. She stayed two days. One night. Yes, there are hurt feelings and resentment there, but I still don’t want her to be lonely on my watch.

The night prior, my husband and I took the family to Red Lobster to spend some gift cards we had received at Christmas. We invited her to come with, she declined.   ?


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