Makes a person think. Every day we’re dying a little more. Soon we’ll just be vague memories…a droplet in the ocean of time.
My Grandpa died this week. He was 89. He had been in a care home for a while…maybe over a year or so along with my Grandma. They both have Alzheimer’s. Apparently my Grandma doesn’t understand that Grandpa is gone. Maybe it’s best. They were always together and I can’t imagine how long she would last knowing that her partner in life is no longer.
My grandparents raised 4 kids and worked all their lives to have enough money for their retirement. In fact that’s all they ever did…work and save so that they wouldn’t need to be dependant on other people when they were too old to work anymore. It’s a shame how despite that they have ended up in a care home.
My Grandma has the best sense of humor. Dry, wicked wit, usually followed by a knowing wink to let you know she knows she is being naughty. Last time I saw her she knew who I was but kept asking me if I was married. She seemed fine when I told her I was and had been for 15 years. She said that was good, like she was happy I’d found someone to share my life with like she had found Grandpa. Even then she was joking around.
Grandpa was looking very frail the last time I saw him. He still had his great smile but seemed a little lost during the conversation. He was in the Navy as a young man. He had a very strong sense for business and owned and operated a Husky station (gas) for many years after being a truck driver delivering gas. I didn’t see his joking funny side until much later in life. I think that as they both aged they somehow became softer versions of themselves. Less likely to judge or be critical. More likely to listen with heart and understanding. I loved to visit them and get them bring out their old photo albums and listen to their stories. Their eyes would light up and they’d laugh remembering all the times…the times when they were young. The last time I saw them like this was before they went into the home. Afterward they had no more possessions. Everything was split amongst the kids and grandkids. Each piece of memory losing some of it’s value as it passed hands.
I read a story in the paper today about a woman who wrote a play about her husband dying and then her daughter shortly thereafter and how she coped with the loss. She said she didn’t believe people went anywhere after they died…but then added with a slight smile…maybe they go to Europe. If that’s the case I hope you’re having a great time in some little pub somewhere Grandpa…maybe playing some poker with some buddies…like you used to do.