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.