This is a picture of my Grandpa meeting my son for the first time. Shortly before this was taken, I worried that my Grandpa might not live to see Casey born. When they actually met, I was awash in emotion and so grateful for the moments we had left together. Here it is, six months later, and Grandpa is still with us but his health is rapidly deteriorating. On Sunday, we moved him into a nursing home not far from where we live. This process was set in motion a long time ago so you would have thought we'd all be used to the idea by the time it happened. Grandpa, however, is suffering from a little bit of dementia and didn't really process the fact that he was going anywhere. He was genuinely surprised when we picked him up. We got him into his room and I gave him a framed picture of Casey for his nightstand. We unpacked his things and got him settled. The entire ride home, I cried. The next day, he asked my Gran when he'd be able to come home. I can't imagine how hard it was for her to tell him the words "never" and "this is your home now." I'm still not sure how to cope with all of this. I know that my priorities have changed and I have made a commitment to visit him as often as I am able. I know the joy Casey brings him and I want them to have as much time together as they can before it's too late. I feel like I failed somehow by not visiting my Grandpa more when he was at home, just a little over a mile from I live. I get scared thinking about how much longer he has. I wonder if being away from my Gran will break his heart. I worry about how she will do without having him as a purpose. She was his caretaker for so long and now all she has is free time. At night I go to sleep and my mind instantly goes to my Grandpa, in what is basically a hospital, going to sleep alone for the first time in decades. The whole situation just has my mind reeling. I don't even know how to put it into words. Suddenly I'm overcome with nostalgia about playing "alley" with him, his dirty jokes and witty comebacks, all his charm. He's my lucky 7.

MORAL OF THAT STORY: Cherish the ones you love because the time you have with them goes by far too quickly.


Coodence said...

It's sad, dudie. But, like you said you can visit him and take him queso.

Your baby, not cheese.

And he was just too sick to stay home, so this is better. It really stinks that this is what we do to our old people, though. UGH.

April said...

I know the feelings you wrote here far too well. My grandpa passed away recently and all my grandma did was take care of him. I call her every week now to check on her and make sure she's ok. Thankfully, my uncles are keeping her busy.

What you're feeling is so natural. That doesn't make it any easier, I know, but still. I feel like whenever anyone close to us dies or is facing death, we all have those feelings of regret, wishing we did more, visited more, called more.

All you can do now, is do as much as you can to try to make peace with your feelings before he goes. Visit him with Casey as much as you can and try to make sure people in your family are taking turns looking out for your grandma.

I'm sorry you're so sad, Randi. If I could take the sadness away for you, I would. =)

Christine said...

I'm sorry about Grandpa, dude. It sucks to get old. My advice is to try to meet all the people who take care of him - it might make you feel better to know that they care about him a lot too. Life is never perfect, usually messy. Hang in there, kiddo.
Oh, and , charm? Coughbullshitcough! If I recall, my name was "Fat Girl" for quite a few years there. I'm pretty sure it was a few other friends' name too, so don't let the nostalgia blind you :)