Even Vampires have members of “the sandwich generation.” We are those who take care of both our young and the ancient members of our families.
We go between cultures and centuries, trying to keep up with the needs of all. It can be both exhausting and rewarding. The biggest reward is watching the very young and very old together. They seem to have a connection that is unencumbered by the world around us.
This weekend Eleora is with us. Tellias has gone with my brother Val to visit old friends. She can’t stay alone anymore or she’ll wander off, or call 911 just to get good looking young men in uniforms out to her farm, or sit alone without motion for the entire weekend.
Nobody knows how old Eleora is. She looks like a twenty year old, but she is ancient, born before the Roman Empire came to Britain. She is older than any languages we speak today. She is older than dirt (I just said that to be funny.)
We sit over goblets of wine and blood talking about funny things we did on road trips over the years.
Memories are different for Eleora, as if the pages of a book have been torn out then put back in random order. Places, people, and dates are mixed up, making for an alternate universe of memories.
I hold my hand up to my husband Teddy to let him know not to correct Eleora. Just let her talk. We remember all three of the stories, but now they are one story. That’s ok.
Last weekend seventeen year old Clara and I took Eleora to a flower show. I wondered around by myself looking at plants, while the teen and the elder took their time, discussing each plant, and what plants they have at home (African Violets.) They looked at the plants, heads close together, with Clara holding Eleora’s hand and making sure she saw everything.
I over heard someone smile and say the words “special needs.” No, she is just old. But they wouldn’t know that seeing what looked like two lovely young women, perhaps sisters, with the younger helping the slightly slow older girl.
Sometimes when I’m with Eleora I don’t know if I’m in a Harold Pinter play, or just skipping through Oz.
No matter where we are, I’m going to take a deep breath, put away my horrible impatience, and enjoy the unique point of view. And no matter what I think at first, I can still learn from that point of view.
Don’t forget the elders in your life, those who are different, and those who need extra help. We can learn from them, and together our lives will be richer, with far far more interesting memories.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman
~ First published here in September 2016.