This past weekend I went up to Fort Wayne to spend time with my family. I hadn’t been up there since the holidays, and it was really good to see everyone – my parents, sister, brother, niece, nephews and grandparents.
I spent all Saturday morning with my grandma and grandpa. Every time I go home, I go to breakfast with them at the Cozy Nook. They go every morning and everybody there knows them, even the customers.
My grandma & grandpa are a very meaningful part of my life. I feel so lucky and blessed to have them in my life. I know almost anybody can say that about their grandparents but it’s hard to truly express a unique relationship when it’s a relationship that many other people have in their own lives. So all I can say is that I am truly grateful to call these two terrific people my grandparents.
They married at the end of the war, after my grandpa had served his years in Germany and France. My grandma was young, just a teenager, and it didn’t matter to either of them that there was a 10-year age gap. I admire them for their dedication to each other. They just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary a few years ago. Who says young love doesn’t last?
So now, here they are today, 91 and 81. I’d love to say that they get around like age is nothing but a number, but that would only be true for half of the equation. My grandma, yeah, she’s doing great. She can’t sit still. She’s always moving, and she moves around just fine. She’s starting to forget little things, but then again, so do I.
It’s my grandpa that’s deteriorating. He got a new hip last year, but he still can’t walk very well. He still falls. And he’s starting to lose his mind. He was just diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and I found out this weekend that it’s too late for medicine to help. He can’t hear very much at all, so it’s hard to tell if he’s not in the conversation because he can’t hear or if he’s just spacing out. He forgets things as soon as they happen. But he can still tell you vivid stories about the war.
It’s sad to me to see what’s happening to my grandparents. And it’s not like it’s unexpected. Although I can see my grandpa deteriorating, especially because it’s weeks apart when I do see him, I definitely don’t see him as dying. My mind can’t quite comprehend a day in my life where he doesn’t exist here on earth anymore.
And it pains me even more to think of my grandma left behind. All she’s ever known is a life with my grandpa. Sure, she’s a strong, independent woman. But she’s always selflessly taken care of my grandpa, from cooking to cleaning and everything in between. My mind can’t quite comprehend my grandma living life without her companion.
But I suppose the day will come when one of them is no longer with us, and my mind will somehow pull the pieces together. But until then, I am grateful for every moment I have ever had with my grandma and grandpa, and thankful for every second I can spend with them in the future.