My grandmother is amused that I would like to share an anecdote about her online, she laughed and agreed. I watch my grandmother solve the Sudoku, a habit she has resolved to commit to religiously over the years.
She has watched the news for longer hours over the week. It takes her longer than usual to work through her 9X9 box of numbers. I watch her draw the puzzle on an empty side of the paper, entirely focused on the task at hand. I smile at the sense of triumph she is a picture of, when she tallies the numbers in each row and column.
Sudoku, in its own ways, has become a way of coping for her. The activity, she shares, grounds her despite all else that is on her mind. I nod, in quiet fascination as to how one finds joy in a printed puzzle. She has always loved numbers, as a child and through college where she majored in math.
I hold space for how she wonders that she might not be able to solve these puzzles as she gets older. I comfort her with the thought it will come as it does and we will work through it together.
Susan Moon writes in her book ‘This is Getting Old: Zen Thoughts on Aging with Humor and Dignity’:
‘Sometimes, for a moment, I taste the relief of letting this self fold gently into the next self, moment by moment, like eggs into batter.’
Allow yourself to cope, in the ways that you feel supported. For now, my grandmother chooses Sudoku.