Uhm, I don’t really know where to begin.
We left for my grandparents’ house in Pennsylvania right after I got out of school on Friday. Because it’s such a long drive, twelve hours, we decided to stop about halfway there at a hotel to sleep. We usually don’t ever do that, since gas is expensive enough, but we did for a change, and it was really nice, being able to sleep in a bed instead of trying to fit my entire body on my seat. Ha.
We arrived around two at my grandparent’s. We all walked in and noticed immediate differences. My grandpap was lying on a hospital like bed (you know, the ones that raise up and down and have the bars on the side so you don’t fall off) with an oxygen tube in his nose and then another tube injecting him with some type of liquid or medicine, or something. I didn’t ask; I don’t really want to know. There’s this big machine at the foot of the bed that makes all these odd noises all the time, too.
I don’t think he knows who any of us are. I think he knows we’re familiar and we’re either family or friends, but he hasn’t said any of our names and he keeps calling my dad Bob, my other uncle. I guess it’s comforting knowing that he knows we’re at least loved ones and not complete strangers.
He’s extremely skinny, to the point where he almost looks malnourished. He was a slim guy to begin with, but now his clothes are baggy and he has to wear belts with his pants. He doesn’t talk much. Well, to be fair he doesn’t do anything really but sleep in his bed. When he does talk, it’s just little comments like, “Why, look at the wind,” or “I want a Pepsi.” My aunt and uncle said that he hardly eats, despite everyone’s efforts to get him too. Usually a few bites is all he will eat and then he’ll say he’s full. He also uses a walker now, which I know a lot of elderly do, just seeing my grandpap use one is so… sigh. I don’t know. He used to be so strong and healthy for his age; seeing him use one just kind of breaks my heart.
My aunt and uncle who live right next door to my grandparents came over shortly after we arrived and talked with us about how things have been going on around here. My dad had taken my grandma to the cemetery to plant flowers on her parents’ graves so my aunt and uncle were free to tell us everything. While my grandpap has been doing awful, my grandma is totally blind to that fact. She thinks that he’s improving and getting better, and that soon enough he won’t need all these machines around his bed. I’m not being a pessimist, but he really is not going to get better; he’s past that point.
She’s also starting get confused, and often. It’s not that there is anything really wrong with her medically, she’s just old. Things just aren’t clicking when people try to explain things to her. For example, my grandma wanted to my aunt to get her groceries, so she said she’d drop by after work to get them. When my aunt dropped by later, my grandma said, “You’re home from work early. When are you getting the groceries, later tonight?” when my aunt had the groceries in her hand and was actually late coming home from work.
My grandma loves to cook and is an amazing one at that, and she’s always very precise in it. Afterward, she would always clean the kitchen up and it would be spotless, but now she never does that. She made a cherry pie for us, and when I walked through the kitchen this morning to take a shower, it looked like someone had been murdered. Me and my mom cleaned it up; at least the pie still tasted amazing.
There are some things that still remain the same. They still have this bird that should have died like ten years ago. It sits in the dining room and squawks all the time; it’s thirty-two years old is what my grandma said. My grandma still cooks great, at least from the one pie we tasted. We’re having a ton of aunts and uncles and cousins over later for a memorial day picnic, so we can put her food to the test later. Except, I don’t think we’re eating outside, heh.
There’s nothing to do here, and I’ve been in a pretty down mood, so despite saying I was going on a hiatus, I’m not. I just need to talk. I get horrid service up here, so I can’t really text Andrew. I can call him though, for some reason that always goes through.
So basically what I’ve learned, is that my grandpap is like a little kid. You have to help him with everything and do everything for him. He can’t bathe himself, so someone comes about three times a week to bathe him and help him shave and everything since my grandma can’t. You have to cut up his meals into little bitty bites. He used to love desserts. My grandma would always have to watch him after she cooked a bunch of cookies and pies so he didn’t sneak off with some. Now he says he’s too full to eat them.
Seeing all this just makes me want to go home. I don’t want to see or remember either of them like this.