29 Again and Again

As part of the From Left To Write Book Club I read 29: A Novel by Adena Halpern about a grandmother who gets her birthday wish to be 29 again for one day.

Yesterday my grandmother celebrated her 93rd birthday with an intimate gathering of friends. My siblings and I bought her an iPad so she would not be restricted using her computer at her desk. As for the friend who suggested the gift and offered to participate, I made her promise to teach my grandma how to use the device.

My grandmother and I have always been close; she’s felt a special kinship for me for years and has even admitted to me being her favorite granddaughter. This also translates to more responsibilities for me, like visiting her and calling her more frequently than my siblings, and helping her navigate everything from technology (she still has not learned how to use the cell phones I’ve purchased her), shopping and more. She’s still a heck of a lot better than most of her friends who she complains are aging poorly. She’s lived an amazing life as a performer and business woman, and at times is more coherent than my dad.

It’s sad to think that she has a finite amount of time left on earth and when she goes a little bit more of my mom will disappear as my grandma has a lifetime of memories of her only daughter. But as I remind myself, nobody gets out alive.

My mom never indulged this line of discussion, but my grandma admits to regrets, mostly surrounding her relationship with her husband. “If he didn’t die, I would have left him,” she’s said. I do not encourage this line of speaking too much as there is nothing to gain and for someone eternally optimistic, Grams does not need recall painful memories. She’s expressed remorse at only having one child, but after a miscarriage and breast cancer diagnosis, the doctors told her she could not have more.

My mother always said life is not a dress rehearsal. While I will ask Grandma what she would do differently if she could revisit 29, I’ll continue to live as if this is my one shot


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2 Responses to “29 Again and Again”

  1. Lisa @ Grandma's Briefs Says:

    Lovely, evocative post. Happy birthday to your grandmother. My grandma turned 99 in last November … and passed away last month. She lived long and hard. I only wish I’d been there for her final birthday party, but I’d been holding out for the 100th to make the expensive journey across the country.

    I wrote on “29,” too, inspired in a very different direction. You can find it here:


  2. Amy H Says:

    My grandmother always said I was her favorite granddaughter too. (Well, until I was 19 and my aunt had to go and have a baby girl.) I think it’s wonderful to have that special bond and I’m glad to hear you’ve enjoyed learning from, and teaching, your grandmother through the years.

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