The typical image of grandparents usually consists of occasional weekend visits that are rewarded with freshly baked cookies and captivating stories oozing with years of wisdom. Instead of periodic visits, some GBS students are with their grandparent(s) everyday because they reside under the same roof.
According to junior Alex Sharp, she has lived with her grandparents for ten years, allowing her to develop a special bond with them that most others don’t possess.
“Because I’m with them all the time I guess I can treat them sometimes more like a parent than a grandparent,” Sharp said.
Sharp claims her grandparents are healthy, so she has no need to take care of them physically. Yet if they were to need assistance, Sharp says she wouldn’t hesitate to help.
“It’s just the family thing, you love them so you do what you can to help them,” Sharp said. “They’re your elders so you respect them.”
Unlike Sharp, senior Gemini Plamoottil must take care of her diabetic grandmother whom she has lived with for the past 18 years.
“A lot of times she refuses to eat lunch or something and if her sugar drops, I’m the one that’s responsible for making sure it comes up,” Plamoottil said.
According to Plamoottil, taking care of her grandmother is a natural responsibility because she is part of her family.
“Sometimes you’re responsible for your parents and you’re responsible for your siblings,” Plamoottil said. “It’s just another one of those things where you just have to do it.”
Like Plamoottil, senior Kate Hegay’s paternal grandmother also has diabetes. According to Hegay, she is responsible for administering medicine to her and making sure she feels well. Despite her important duties, Hegay claims the extra work doesn’t stress her out.
“Taking care of my grandmother is just a responsibility that I don’t mind having because she’s the one that’s really close to me,” Hegay said.
According to junior Julia Nakashima, she has lived with her grandmother for the past two years because of her amnesia, an illness that causes memory loss.
“[My grandma] doesn’t remember that she just took her pills or she just went to the bathroom so she’d have to do it again and she won’t believe that she did it,” Nakashima said. “It’s hard because we know that she did it but she doesn’t [know].”
According to Nakashima, her experience with her grandmother’s memory loss has taught her to be more appreciative towards her and others.
“I feel like I should show her continuous love even though it might get frustrating,” Nakashima said.”[Taking care of her] is something that I need to keep doing.”
Plamoottil claims that she occasionally feels the traditional and modern generation gap with her grandmother.
“I feel like sometimes we clash because of her being raised in India with more cultural differences,” Plamoottil said. “She’s more Indian rooted than I am.”
Despite their occasional differences, Plamoottil claims that she is extremely close to her grandmother. According to Plamoottil, she enjoys spending time with her grandmother.
“I think our favorite thing to do together is watch Friday night movies in our language together and we like watching Indian soap operas a lot,” Plamoottil said.
According to Sharp, she was able to accumulate countless treasured memories with her grandparents that she still remembers to this day.
“When I was really little, I used to lie down across [my grandpa’s] stomach and I’d fall asleep on him and I’d call him my pillow,” Sharp said.