A Place Of Comfort
By: Michelle Remold
Fall is my favorite time of year. When I was little I liked fall because that’s when my birthday is, but now I love the changing leaves, pumpkins, the weather, pretty much everything about fall. The other day I was driving home from work and about fifteen minutes into my drive, I found myself entranced in the leaves, which led me to think about the last Halloween before my grandpa was in the nursing home. That year we had gone to a drive through haunted trail. I was about nine and the trail scared me. I crawled into my grandpa’s lap and eventually down to the floor board where I hid under his legs – don’t worry, he wasn’t driving. After we left the haunted trail, I spent the rest of the drive in my grandpa’s lap, where I felt safe.
Typically these memories make me smile and I don’t think any more about them, but this time it seemed to be different. The last month I have been really stressed – two jobs, working on grad school applications, papers, a surgery in my family, planning programs, a presentation, and overall things that just seem to come up. I felt like I needed time to catch my breath for a minute. I spent yesterday baking breads and pie all day, it was very relaxing. Today I did a presentation on Alzheimer’s in another town. As soon as I mentioned my grandpa while speaking, doubt and anxiety seemed to go away and the presentation went very well. As my mom and I drove home, I again was looking at the leaves and saw myself sitting in my grandpa’s lap driving home from that haunted trail. I have also noticed that everything I found to be overwhelming lately, seems to now to be minute.
I think that thinking about my grandpa lately was a reminder that I can do anything I put my mind to and what better reminder to get than to remember a place like sitting in my grandpa’s lap, a place of comfort.
Michelle graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with her Bachelor of Arts in Gerontology: Social Sciences and a minor in Family Studies. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Aging Studies and Nursing Home Administration from Minnesota State University Mankato.