Friday, April 18, 2008

This one is for Laura

For any of you who have been checking in on me, sorry that I've been absent this past week! I am still at my parents' house in Western WA, soaking up daughterhood and trying to spend as much time as possible with my parents and maternal grandparents.

My grandpa, age 89, is recovering in the local nursing home from a bad fall. He broke his sacral bone after a loud crash-landing in his bathroom this past February. Thankfully, my mom was there at the time, so she was able to help him immediately - how horrific if he had been there alone, with only my half-crippled grandma to help him. I remember my mom saying that the loud booming sound of his fall made her blood run cold. Can you imagine? He was hospitalized for a few weeks, then transferred to the nursing home and has been recuperating since, as he was unable to stand or walk. Amazingly, because of the astounding Solid Rock of a Norwegian that he is, even at 89 years of age with prostate problems and emphysema, he is actually making a recovery. He is able to walk with the aid of a walker, and will be going home soon. The physical therapists have been amazed by his strength, even in his weakened condition. It is really unbelievable, because a bone-break after a tumble at that age is usually the beginning of a fairly quick ending.

He will be going home this next Tuesday, as well as my Grandma, who has been staying with my aunt these past two months. I am so glad that I am able to be here, to participate, if only peripherally. I am making chili for them today, a double batch, to freeze in meal-size portions. I can help clean their house, and I've been visiting them as much as possible with the tykes.

It is so interesting, because he continuously goes in and out of reality - including remembering his grandchildren (he always remembers his children and their spouses, thankfully). Just yesterday, in a single half-hour visit, he went from, 1) not remembering me at all, to 2) remembering me as an infant: "You were a good baby," he said, after asking who I was, to 3) knowing who I am. It was crazy. He also asked about his car repeatedly [he hasn't driven in more than a year]; wondered where his bike was; wanted to go home; said, "Laurel and Lea [my aunt and Grandma] went to Canada yesterday and had a really good time"; and asked if his parents were at home. "Do you know how old you are, Dad?" my mom asked, to which he replied without any hesitation, "Seventy!"

He is the master of one-liners, even in his decline. My favorite recent story involving his wit [mixed with confusion] is when my brother and his girlfriend were sitting with my grandparents this past winter, at home in their chairs in their blazing-hot living room. Like most old folks, they keep the heat cranked to unbearable levels. My grandpa was sleeping, of course [he spends 80% of his daytime hours asleep these days], and they were talking with my grandma, going over and over her favorite stories. My grandpa stirred, started looking around his chair, then groggily asked, "Where did I put that darn hammer...?" My brother and his girlfriend searched around obligingly, then inquired, "What hammer, Grandpa?" He surfaced a bit, then said, "That's what I'm trying to figure out!" before drifting off into sleep again.

Oh, Lester. We love you.

2 comments:

Eric said...

cute--is that why your cat is named Lester?

a. borealis said...

Yep, that is exactly where we got the name Lester. Lester Lloyd, to be exact. Lloyd is Blaine's maternal grandpa's name. =)