Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Remains of the Day (haven't left much blog time)

How I Lost Seven Weeks in a Flash


Dear Friends and Followers,

I owe you an explanation for where I've been, and I think it's only right that here and there, a personal post makes its way into this blog ... not to garner sympathy or support, but just to share.

December 2011, before his recent slimdown
My dear, humorous, stubborn, adorable grandpa – my last treasured grandparent – had a series of strokes several weeks ago. He survived, thank God, and his mind (and war stories) were even miraculously left intact for which we are most grateful! The unfortunate part, however, was that the communication between his brain and his left leg didn't fare so well. He just couldn't get his leg to move no matter how hard he tried, leaving him to tell the doctors that he needed a "new brain" ... the previous one wasn't communicating properly (never mind the uncooperative leg).

Again, gratitude abounds for the sense of humor the strokes didn't touch.

He's been in rehab now for about a month ... getting some movement back and walking with his walker – yea!! There have been many trips to see him there, hence the juggling act between family and work, my investigation into an appropriate assisted living facility (if need be), my mom coming out for a visit from Santa Fe, New Mexico ... my blog falling by the wayside.

Lookin' handsome as ever in 2008

Oh! And on top of all that, the Old Classic turned 90! You might get a kick out of the milestone birthday party we managed for him "off campus" ...

Here's the chaotic breakdown:
  • Plan party two months ahead of time; mail custom invitations to family and friends
  • Grandpa goes into hospital
  • Hope held out for original party location (restaurant in San Pedro)
  • Grandpa transfers into rehab in Long Beach
  • Birthday approaches; Grandpa can't walk yet
  • Scramble, make phone calls, find new restaurant near rehab for party site
  • Procure wheelchair transportation (need two separate vans ... *see side note)
    • side note: Grandpa's brother Keith is also now in same rehab (can you believe it??) and needs wheelchair as well
  • Arrange to check Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum (a family endearment, not a slam) out of rehab for the party
  • Grandpa excited to get out of captivity; Uncle Keith excited, too
  • Day arrives; await arranged wheelchair taxis at 4:30
  • Guests – arrive at restaurant at 5:00; us – still awaiting taxis at 5:30
  • Eventually arrive at restaurant – after two trips – with both boys at 6:00; guests have been incredibly patient and understanding, ready to celebrate
  • Eat, sing, have cake
  • Wait for wheelchair taxis again
  • Check the boys back into rehab an hour past the time I was supposed to; no one said a word :-)
  • Grandpa gets changed, tucked in, claims to have had a great time, falls asleep with a smile (in my fantasy world)
  • We get home, collapse, wonder at the whirlwind of the last 5 hours ... and wish there was leftover cake
  • Feel very happy we pulled it off :-) 

Thanksgiving 2007 – Isn't he cute?

We are all holding out hope that he can go home again ... none of us knows what his future – and ours with him – will look like quite yet ... I'm just glad he's still here.

Until soon ...

Write from the heart,