Friday, January 4, 2008

Great Grandpa

Great Grandpa (Jim's grandfather) is a funny ol'chap. He was married to Great Grandma for 68 years, 11 months and 20 days. Great Grandma was buried 7 days before their 69th Anniversary.

Great Grandpa has been in the nursing home since May. He celebrated Great Grandma's 90th birthday while there, his 92nd, and also suffered her loss while there.

Confusion has begun to take over. He does not know where he has been or where he is many days of the week. When we go to visit he asks if we are there to take him home.

Today he called me from "school" asking for a ride home. He was concerned about his "bikes" because he had two with him, and he wasnt sure how to get both home at one time. He told me that he talked to the office and they said he could stay in a classroom until I could get there, and that he would leave his other equipment there. I told him that Jim would be home by 6 and we would come over. He was worried that the school would be closing by then, but he would make arrangements. But the bikes had to go home today because school was closing for the summer.

Shortly after 6 we arrived at the home. We were afraid if we waited too long, he would not eat fearing he would miss us. The nurses must have worked their magic because when we got there he was seated with his usual motley crew. He saw us come in - which is amazing because the room they eat in is huge and we were on opposite ends. But he did eat most of his dinner.

Great Grandpa told us tales of his adventures the past few days. He said he was in Redwood, and then came back here - not sure how, but he did. He wanted to go home because he wanted to show us the remodeling grandma had done to the house. He told us tales of how "they" talked him into spending all kinds of money to remodel the place. That it had 20 bedrooms, and "I cant tell you how many bathrooms". He told us how it looked "just like this place" (meaning the nursing home), and that he really wanted to get back to it to check on the progress.

We told him it was very cold out and asked if we could see his hotel room (as now, that is where he believed he was). I wheeled him down the hall, and he told us tales of the other guests who were staying at the hotel, many of them diplomats of one sort or another. As we entered his room, it all started coming back to him. He remembered he was in the nursing home, and he knew it was his room. But he still wanted to go for a walk, "its only a few blocks away". Our excuse of it being too cold and windy (it was actually fairly balmy today), and that we drove the 2 seater (not!) worked for now. He did however begin planning for his springing - as he had unplugged the TV and his clock, and had a little pile of items he wanted to take with him.

But for tonight he is hunkered down. Tomorrow could be a whole 'nother story. Its so hard to see him this way. Not long ago he was a vibrant witty man. Now he is consumed with when we will get him out of this place. Its hard to leave when you know he will stare at four walls again... alone.

We did take a picture tonight. Its a great photo. He is smiling. And that is what counts.

We love you grandpa!
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