Monday, November 29, 2004

Thanksgiving's Over, but Life is Not

When Ron and I went to visit my grandma and her husband Friday and Saturday, I was surprised as to how much Roy (my step-grandfather) has gone downhill. He seems disoriented a lot, doesn't understand what's going on most of the time, or has to have things explained to him over and over. It's sad.

I remember when he and my grandma got married. I was a sophomore in high school. My sister and I sang at their wedding.

He used to have a sparkle in his eyes, he used to be ornery. He used to smile. He knew how to have fun. That's gone now.

I really admire my grandma, though. She's so gentle and loving and patient with him. She takes care of him as if he were a giant one-year-old, even though he's 18 years older than her. His daughter and grandkids (all of whom have kids of their own) don't seem too willing to give my grandma a break, even though many live in the same town or very nearby. Grandma's there with him 24/7, and it's draining her. But she loves him. We all do.

My holiday prayer is that he makes it through the holidays. Please keep him in your prayers, too.


ghp said...

I know what you mean, Erica.

Over the past 10 years, I've watched as all 4 of my grandparents became victims of the aging process. Watching these once robust, active, and wonderful people become gradually overwhelmed by the ravages of a process necessitated by our shared fallen state, was (and is, for the 1 still alive) a difficult and heart-rending thing.

It's also difficult to see the negative effect that it has on the caregivers, even after the decision is made to move someone into a Nursing Home. My parents gave me the best example anyone ever could about how to honor the 4th Commandment. In the face of their own aging, with little-to-no-help from their respective siblings, and at the expense of their own daily routines & (oftentimes) health, they cared for their parents in a truly amazing & selfless way. I fear that, if presented with the same circumstances, I would've failed to do as well at the task.

The Lord's Will *will* be done. I'm thankful for the example that my parents set for me and my sister. I'm thankful that events of the past 10 years didn't take too much of a toll on my parents, even through the pain of having to ultimately bury 3 of their 4 parents to date. I'm thankful that your grandfather has your grandmother to care for him, and that your grandmother has you to pray for her. And I pray that the Lord will strengthen all of you, such that all of you can take comfort in the knowledge that His Will is being done.


Mrs. T. Swede said...

Thank you, Glen. Ron's parents have been a great influence in our lives, as well. They've been taking care of their mothers for many years now. Both are now in nursing homes and doing fairly well. Ron and I have talked about moving out to Oregon eventually to take care of his parents, too.

This is the first time I've watched someone slowly slip away due to old age. At least, it's the first time it's happened with someone I'm related to. This is going to be very difficult for my whole family, including my grandma. When my step-grandfather dies, he will have made her a widow for a second time.

Fortunately, when my grandma is ready, my parents will have room for her in their new house, which is almost finished being built. She'll have a nice bedroom with a window seat, and a sewing room for her many quilting and other sewing projects right next to it, with her own bathroom. I'm just not looking forward to seeing her slip away eventually, either. That's going to be even harder on me because we're very, very close.

Thank you for your prayers. They are greatly appreciated. I know God will look after us all.