Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Walk On


As I mentioned yesterday I spent some time with my grandpa while I was in Utah, he has Alzheimer's which has gotten progressively worse over the past few years.  He's finally reached the point in this terrible disease where he needs to live in a place where he can have round the clock professional care.

Watching him lose part of himself over the past few years has been extremely difficult to watch, but I can't help but be grateful for all the years we had together.  I grew up next door to my grandparents and they were a part of my daily life.  What a gift to have a lifetime of memories.

Most of my early jobs involved yard work, my mom and dad would help me line up jobs in the neighborhood, they supplied the lawn mower, the gas and the reminders, but it was up to me to get the job done - or it would have been if my grandpa hadn't kept popping up to give me a hand.

My first time on an airplane was with my grandparents (it was also their first and only time on a plane) when they took me to Hawaii.  We had such a great time together and still talked about the trip nearly 20 years later.  I think this trip was at least partially responsible for my love of travel, which is what led me to this crazy job, although I remember that first plane ride as being much more pleasant than air travel today.

My grandpa was the head mechanic at a gypsum plant and I could occasionally talk him into taking me with him to work.  I was so proud to be his granddaughter - it seemed that everyone knew and loved him.  He'd give me a tour of the plant, patiently explaining how everything worked.  I think my tours of the plant were the beginning of my love of process and finding the most efficient way to get a job done.

It is hard to see my grandpa as he is today, but I'm grateful for our wonderful memories and I'm incredibly grateful for the people at the center who are giving him the care he needs at this point in his life.  Mostly I'm grateful for my belief that there is a life after this, a time when he will again be whole in mind and body.  Until that time I pray we will all have the strength we need to walk this path along with him.

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2 comments:

Nicole said...

I hated going to visit Grandpa at the plant! That place scared me so bad. I remember there was this doorway you walked through that had fire on both sides!! (probably not exactly, but that's how I remember it!) Remember how I would sleep at their house every weekend? I would always write grandpa little notes and hide them in his lunch box, sometimes in his chips sometimes in his sandwich. He was such a good grandpa!

julianne rose said...

Hello!

I just wanted to pop over and say many many thanks for your kind and thoughtful comment on my blog. i wish we could sit down in person and have a nice conversation! it seems we have much in common :)

if i'm ever in india i'll look you up - same if you're ever in europe :)

thanks again!
julianne.

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