Monday, March 16, 2015


Tomorrow is my grandfather's birthday. He will turn 82.

Watching him age is not fun except for when it is. For example: he's found this gentleness for babies and dogs that he never had before. I love that.

But mostly I hate it. I hate thinking about the night in November when he got so lost. I hate that he will soon be forced to sell his beloved boat. I hate that he can't make it through a day without a nap and that it takes him a good 20 minutes to put on his boots and that sometimes his anger is unreasonable and scary (and usually directed at my grandma).

My mom is solely responsible for the everyday care of my grandparents. Mom's one living sister lives in Chicago; her brother, who quit the family, isn't in the picture. My grandparents still live alone and they get along quite fine, but now my mom calls them daily to check in. Now my mom drives them to funerals that are more than a few miles away and knows when all of their doctors appointments are and makes my father fix things around their house.

She doesn't mind. "It's spending time with my dad," she says, laughing, after spending an afternoon entertaining Grandpa in the form of helping him paint something in the garage. My grandpa is a horrible painter but for some reason he doesn't mind doing it. My mom has been coming up with things for him to paint/ruin all winter. It keeps him out of trouble.

We're taking him on a little trip later this month -- Mom, Meg and I. We will only be gone a few days. Just long enough to give my grandmother a break. I expect it to be fun and sad and hilarious and frustrating. I will most definitely be keeping a running list of the random and funny things that he comes up with.

Like this, which he said to me when I saw him this afternoon. "You work? Oh, yes. You're a librarian. You read books and have your boyfriends visit."

Grandfathers say the darndest things.


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

It is hard to watch our grandparents age... You are lucky that you live so close to them and can see them on a regular basis. I lost my grandpa about 6 years ago and am so glad I grew up in the same town as them as I have so many memories with him. My grandma is still alive and is sharp as a whip. She's in an assisted living center and is quite the social butterfly which has shocked us all as she was so shy and didn't have many friends when my grandpa was alive as he was kind of her whole world... Now she's like the best wii bowler in her community and she competes in competitions with other assisted living centers. It's pretty cool to see.

I hope the trip with your grandpa goes well!!

ALYS said...

They do say the darndest things, but sometimes I think they know it, but think "I'm old enough and eccentric enough to say what I want!" It's also good to hear that he has his marbles and that he knows what's what (despite being a bad painter). He sounds very much like his own person still, which is great!

GS said...

Try and cherish every moment, no matter how frustrating it may be. What I wouldn't give for 10 minutes with my grandparents and my mother.

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