Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Seeing him today....

Was a lot harder than I thought. It's been 3 weeks exactly since Grandma left us and I finally felt ok with going to see Grandpa. I'm still going through the hurdle of living in this house. But that's a WHOLE other post. I felt today was a good time.
The room is empty. There's a few pictures on the wall but nothing like how Grandma had it. Grandpa was in his wheelchair at the doorway to the bathroom. I said hi and told him, "It's Julie, grandpa." He looked at me in the eye and said, "Hi Julie." I asked him how his arm felt cuz he broke it last week. He said "It hurt like a son of a gun." I could tell he needed help to use the bathroom so I got an aid. She came and helped him. He said something about missing his plane and he needed to get to the airport. The aid told him he wasn't going anywhere. I nudged him and said, "grandpa, can I go with you?" The aide said he's been really dehydrated and hasnt' been eating. That worried me. After the struggle to get him to use the bathroom, the nurse sat him in his chair and I sat next to him. He asked me for a piece of gum, "Check those drawers and see if there's any gum." Grandma used to keep a pack of gum in her top drawer. I told him I didn't have any gum but I brought him a bear claw. The aide gave him a piece of gum and he was so content.
We sat there together for the next few minutes. He chewed his gum. I looked around at the empty room. I realized that I was probably going to be the only visitor he would have that day. It was a bittersweet feeling. Bitter because he deserved more than that. Sweet because there was more possibility that he would remember me being there. Even if he doesn't. Even if he doesn't even know I'm there, I don't think it matters. He needs to have someone there from time to time. How long would he have been sitting there waiting for help to use the bathroom, had I not come? Grandma isn't there anymore to guide him along. There's noone else in the room. He is all alone. And that makes me unbelieveably sad.
He may be disconnected from us all but that doesn't mean we have to be disconnected from him. I am going to go see him once a week. Go along as if he's ok. Treat him like he is the way he was 20 years ago. He's the same man. He's that same goofy son of a gun with that witty and honest sense of humor. I won't ever look at him as any different. Just because he is, I don't have to see it.

It may have been hard to see him today but I can rest easier knowing that I did. Knowing that one extra person was there to give him some company. And I will do it again next week. Perhaps this week too.

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