When I planned to move back to my hometown for several months before moving to Greece, I knew I wanted to spend more time with my grandparents. Although I’m committed to staying in Greece for just one year, I’m acting as though it will be forever. That means I want to soak up as much time with the people I love as possible. I wrote about how much I admire their love for each other during my Valentine’s Week series, and I will repeat myself: my grandparents are two of my very favorite people.
What’s the easiest way to spend time with someone? Move in with them, obviously. (Plus, while there is a stigma against 27-year-olds living with their parents, I don’t think society has decided to judge people who live with their grandparents.) As anyone who has moved in with their best friend knows, living with someone can make or break a relationship. And while I’m committed to loving my grandparents forever, I wasn’t sure if I would wind up liking them by the end of our two months together. Haha, just kidding, it was fine. In fact, it was great!
They cleared out my aunt’s old room upstairs for me to use. Although my grandma doesn’t like indoor animals, she let me bring my cat Rory (so long as he stayed in my room). My grandma is one of the most hospitable people I know – although I tried to say things like “I’ll help out with whatever you need,” she took 100% care of me. She made dinners for us every night, she bought me snacks when grocery shopping, and she sent me to work with cookies to share with my coworkers. My grandpa and I talked a lot – during dinner and while we drank coffee in the living room – having theological conversations about how if there are aliens (and we both think there probably are) then what kind of salvation story does God have for them, and what exactly does it mean to forgive yourself, and is the afterlife in a nebulous heaven or on a recreated earth? You know, typical grandfather/granddaughter conversations.
I also got to see what a long-term married couple looks like up close. They tell stories together, each supplying details that the other has forgotten. Conversations quickly evolve into sharing memories of their life together, vacations enjoyed or people they knew. They have been married for over 60 years, and they still like each other. That’s a life goal if ever I heard one. Living with them reminded me that love is possible, and that marriage is a team effort, based in friendship, built on a life spent together.
Like any roommate situation, we settled into a routine. I went off to work for most of the day, and when I came home, I spent an hour or so in my room to be people-free and cuddle with my cat. Then I came down for dinner, where we talked over a meal that almost always included mashed potatoes (YES) and always ended with multiple options for dessert. Then I went upstairs again to watch TV on my computer. Around 7:30, I went downstairs, made evening coffee for everyone, and then we sat in the living room and read. Sometimes Grandma would watch the Cardinals play, and sometimes Grandpa would teach me a magic trick. Then we would take turns getting ready for bed in the single bathroom that we somehow all shared without a problem, and go to bed. I get that this paragraph is kind of boring, but it’s exactly these kind of boring details that I want to remember.
I had such a great time living with my grandparents for two months. The time flew by too quickly! I’m so grateful they’re my family, and I’m so grateful they opened up their home to me. I would move in with them again in a heartbeat.