Monday, August 1, 2011

While our family visit was good, part of it was difficult

When I was born, I was lucky to be born into a family with a lot of grandparents.  Two grandpas, two grandmas, two great-grandmas and a great-grandpa, all of whom I spent a lot of time with.  

I still have two grandpas and a grandma.  All of them are in their nineties and have enjoyed good health until the last couple of years.  My mom's dad has had two heart bypasses and a hip replaced twice.  But, he recovered very well from all those procedures and traveled extensively well into his eighties.  My dad's dad is going to be 95 this year.

When I go visit my family on the west coast I always visit my grandparents because I really love them and they love me and the kids.  

However, this trip was different.  My mom's dad and stepmom aren't doing all that great.  My grandma (she's my grandpa's second wife but they've been married since I was seven so she's my grandma.)  had a fall that aggravated an old back injury, causing her a lot of pain and making it hard for her to get around.  While I was there she went for an epidural for her pain. And my grandpa is just getting old.  He's starting to have some memory loss but he's still all there.  But going to visit and only being able to stay for about 40 minutes, because that's really all the time they have energy for, was hard for me.  

My dad's dad has looked elderly for a while but he's never looked old before.  Again, he's still all there, some memory loss but no dementia.  He's living in assisted living where he can be around people and his medications are dispensed instead of leaving it to him to muddle through.

After we visited with my grandparents, all in the same day, I ended up having a big cry in the car.  

Seeing that they are, indeed, aging brings up all kinds of existential thoughts for me.  My children are going to grow up.  I"m going to get older.  My parents are going to get older.  I am going to get a phone call sometime in the next five years (probably) telling me I need to pack a suit and get on a plane.  It's not something I'm hoping for, but it is something I'm preparing myself for.  

Maybe that's morbid, but I know it's coming.  

I tell myself that they've all had a very good run.  No dementia and really very limited health issues are a blessing.  My mom's dad has been in love twice.  They've raised children, bought homes, traveled, had friends and lived very full lives.  When is does eventually end, there will be a true celebration of who they were and what they contributed to all the people they touched.  

It's why I'll be devastated.  Again, maybe I'm being overly morbid. 

Amanda's beauty tip of the day:  Noxema has too much menthol and camphor to be non-irritating, and it tends to clog pores.  Best to stay away from it.  

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