After five months of being away, my grandma was lucky enough to be able to come back home after suffering a stroke at the beginning of February. She spent a month in the hospital’s ICU and then another four months in a nursing rehabilitation center. She underwent speech, physical and occupational therapy, and is now able to walk again (with a walker) and talk (she has about 50% of her speech back, although it is easier for her to rattle off Spanish than it is English). When she came home in June, I spent every day at my grandma’s house, not because I had to to help out my family, because I wanted to. My grandma lives across the alley from us with my Aunt Rose so it wasn’t hard for me to be there everyday. I made sure therapists came and went, lunch was ready, medicine was taken. Most almost-20-year-olds would probably think of this as the most boring summer ever. Not me. When my grandma’s stroke happened I hated not being at home to help my family out, even if that just meant getting my sister back and forth to school and dance class or letting my grandma and aunt’s dogs out. But I knew that if I came home, my grandma would feel guilty because I left school just to be at home. So I became a trooper and stayed here in Muncie. That’s why I stayed with my grandma everyday this summer; not because I felt guilty that I wasn’t there when the height of her stroke happened, but because I knew I could be there now, even if it was just for a few months before I had to come back to school. Did I miss hanging out with my friends all the time this summer? Of course I did but it didn’t matter because I was with my grandma.
One of the things we did over the summer was watch a lot of syndicated television. My grandma’s favorite TV show is ABC’s Castle, a crime show about a writer who shadows an NYPD detective and bases novels off cases they work. The show stars Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic, and TNT plays syndicated episodes for about four or five hours a day, and it would come on right when all the therapists would be gone and lunch was eaten. So, I would get my grandma back in the living room, I’d get comfortable on the couch with my laptop and some design work, and we’d watch Castle until dinnertime. My grandma had already seen every episode of the ABC show since she watches it in its regular season, so whenever a good episode would come on, she would straighten up and join in on my excitement. Sometimes, if she was worn out from therapy, she’d fall asleep watching the show and then wake up when a new one started.
It’s something little, but this was probably the best part of my summer. Just lounging around, not wearing make up, cooking (or at least attempting to; this is when the tin foil incident happened), doing some design work and watching TV with my grandma I know was the best way for me to spend my summer. I’m lucky to have a class schedule this semester to let me watch a couple episodes of Castle a day, and I was able to catch up on episodes I missed when TNT had a day-long Castle marathon on Labor Day. I’ll be able to get caught up with the majority of the episodes from the most reason season (season 5) too before the much-anticipated sixth season premieres on September 23. It’s marked on my room’s master calendar, and Danielle and I are extremely excited for it.It’s a good feeling to have knowing that even though we are cities apart, my grandma and I will still be holding on to our tradition of watching one really awesome TV show.