Saturday, May 07, 2005

Oh for an extended Indian Family

Augustine's aunt and uncle are getting old. Hey, anyone reading this post, send a loving thought Natalie's way today, will ya?
I remember the last week I saw my great-grandma, who I loved very much. She was 98, living in her own apartment and completely had her wits about her, but her body was fading away and she was in pain. I rubbed arthritis medicine onto her back and shivers went up and down my body as I touched the butterfly outline of the back of her pelvis, showing through her skin.
My Granddad, who was her son-in-law, and her were the only two left in town and he shopped for her, took her to her appointments and did her errands. My Granddad never liked her and I bless his sweet heart for stoically and herocially taking care of his beloved wife's mother.
Now my Granddad is old. And my witty, intelligent Granddad has Alzheimers. Luckily, he has the super sweet kind and his taciturn nature has burnt away and his sweetness shows through. We have a very small family and have patched together an "extended Indian family." My mom hired a helper, he calls her his angel, to go visit him twice a week and help him with his bills etc. A bus comes and takes him to the senior center twice a week and three of us call him on a rotating basis, and we visit when we can. My mom visits the most.
My mom, her husband, my aunt, and I are going to Hawaii this summer and we are taking my Granddad! This is something I don't think he would ever have done before getting Alzheimers. He says uncustomary things every now and then. He told my mom that he wanted a chiuaua and wanted to go to Hawaii. My mom grabbed on to this passing idea like a terrier with a rat in it's grip, and now she has talked (and re-talked) my addled Granddad into going to Hawaii with us. YAY!
I think it will be fun.

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1 comment:

Andrea said...

Hawaii! How exciting. And that's lovely about your grandfather coming. I'm a teensy bit jealous that I never really got to know either of my granddads, at least when I hear you speak of how great yours is. One was gone decades before I arrived, I didn't speak the other one's language until I was 21 and visited him during study abroad. But we all have something--grandmothers, in my case. I seem to remember us discussing the indignities of having no cousins...