This week my grandma finally left the nest. For the first time in her 76 years she has her very own place — a bachelor apartment. It’s just 500 square feet, at most, but it’s the only place that’s ever been hers and hers alone.
See, she’s lived with us always. We were toddlers when she moved in, and when our parents separated about eight years later, we had the choice of going to live with mom, or dad and grandma. We chose dad and grandma.
Seven years after that, dad died, and grandma came to live with us at our mother’s house. Since then, as my sister and I grew up and moved out of mom’s house, grandma’s always lived with one of us. Now that we’re both married, she’s decided it’s time to venture out on her own, just four years shy of 80.
It’s not exaggerating to say my grandma is one of my best friends. She’s been the kind of grandmother most people only dream of. She supports us unconditionally, but she’s happy to argue with us and, frankly, the things we discuss openly with her would make most people want to throw themselves in a burning fire. We swear, we sing, we say what’s on our minds. She has our backs, unconditionally. And, god, do we have fun.
She’s not terribly keen on being social with strangers, but she has a secret desire for adventure and is up for anything I suggest. Just a few months ago we ended up riding a golf cart along a closed-off section of Pacific Boulevard at 2 am in the biting rain, en route to our third casino of the evening. And no, alcohol’s never a factor in our gallivanting.
There’s something exhilarating but bittersweet about seeing her venture out on her own now. But she’s been talking for years about things she’s never done before, a twisted kind of bucket list if you will. The list included a place of her own. She also keeps mentioning how she’s never spent the night in jail.
I better start saving for the bail.
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