One of the things that came up was my grandfather. He’s possibly my favorite relative (sorry, everyone else), and also my last living grandparent. And he’s been alternately reminding me how much I care for him and scaring me over the last couple of days.
Last Saturday, I wrote about my detour to the family reunion. I spent a lot of time catching up with family–some people I hadn’t seen in quite a while; some read this blog frequently (hi, Jack!). But I think my favorite moment was sitting around the piano with about half the thirty people there, Mom playing, all of us singing Christmas carols (and the “Hallelujah Chorus”). Part way through, Pop-Pop asked the other folks to lay back so that my he, my Uncle John, and I could take a verse. It had been years since I sang with them at all, let alone solo, and it sounded great.
I probably didn’t notice at the time because of that and other factors (like my quick drive over and my need to hit the road), but Pop-Pop wasn’t in great shape. When I got there yesterday at 1 pm, I really noticed it: while his brain was as quick as ever, his speech was a little slurred, his fine motor control was gone (hands moving spastically and constantly), he stumbled when he walked because he was dragging a foot. His diabetes, normally pretty controlled, had really spiked before Christmas, and he was still feeling the effects, they thought. My Aunt Marie and I took him to the doctor this morning, and though his blood sugar’s down he is still having the symptoms. So we took him by the hospital. They’ve ruled out a stroke and are now investigating other causes.
I want him to be ok. I want to be able to introduce him to great-grandchildren some day, so he has a new audience for whom he can be the hysterically funny gentleman he was when I was growing up. I want eighty-four to be a good year for him, not the start of a downward slope.