Monday, September 07, 2009

False Alarm

Living with an 86 year old - you just never know what to expect. Like today. Usually Grampa comes up and joins us in the kitchen for breakfast around 8:15 or 8:30. Today he was an hour late. Well, I heard a movie going so at first I wasn't too concerned. I figured he just lost track of time. But then the movie stopped and he still didn't come up. It was silent downstairs for quite a while. I was convinced that he had died while watching the movie. I was already mentally planning our trip to California for the funeral. I was SO grateful Brad had the day off today so I could send him down to check to see if Grampa was still among the land of the living. When I told Brad that I thought maybe Grampa had died, he said calmly , " Well, today would be a good day for it." ( as in, Brad has the day off and we have a fairly flexible schedule today so we could easily deal with the county coroner's arrival etc.) But I just LOVE that about Brad, that he says things like that. He even asked Aiden if he wanted to go to California, right before he headed downstairs. I thought, "Is this really how it's going to be? Am I ready for this?" But Grampa's alive and kicking. Well, alive anyway. Phew. I wasn't too keen on meeting the coroner today, to tell you the truth. Brad reported seeing a big container of trailmix sitting next to him on the couch, so perhaps that was why he didn't feel the need for cereal. Trailmix for breakfast? Whatever floats your boat, Grampa. But he did come up a little later and eat some fruit I'd cut up for him.

There's a little bit of this every morning - wondering if he will come up for breakfast or if he's sitting down to a heavenly breakfast instead. He's in fairly good health but with his history of strokes etc, you just never know. Being confronted on a daily basis with the very real possibility that each day might be the last we spend with him helps my perspective and renews my supply of grace. When the day comes when he doesn't come up for breakfast, I don't want to look back and regret my attitude. That doesn't mean I'm never irritated or impatient, but it helps to bring me back to seeing the big picture and to think about the fact that Grampa is someone else's little boy. Of course, I never met Grampa's mother, but we have some things in common. For one, she cut up his fruit at the beginning of his life, and I'm cutting up his fruit now.


drewey fern said...

Claire, I love you. You made me think of me with your leap into future with just the slightest possible amount of evidence to go on.

And I honor you, too. Keep up the good work!

gretchen said...

Nice post, Claire. It's always good to get a little bit of a bigger picture moment to carry us through all the regular life moments.