Friday, July 4, 2008

Dependence Day

My worst 4th of July ever is Just outclassed the year I was 10, when I spent hours decorating my bike for the parade and got all dressed up and then it rained and the parade and fireworks were canceled.

My wonderful, sweet grandparents are getting seriously old. My grandmother is 89, will be 90 in September, and is forgetting things and not really in her right mind. My grandfather, who is 84, got out of the hospital yesterday...I have so far seen him totally naked, reminded him to pull his scrotum forward so he doesn't sit on it, and held his hand while nurses hurt him.
Yesterday, my mother, uncle and I tried to talk to my grandparents about the possibility of them moving either to an assisted living community (Grandmother: Absolutely not); having a live-in nurse (Grandmother: Absolutely not); moving in with our family (Grandmother: No). She was finally convinced that they could come to our house at least temporarily until my grandfather is a little better and more independent, and it seemed that things were going to be okay, but then she decided she could live by herself. But of course she doesn't remember that this morning.

The morning started off-- at least for me-- with my mom arguing with my grandparents, trying to get them to get up, despite the fact that none of them had gotten sleep the night before, by grandfather having been up all night with horrible back pain and falling in the bathroom at 1, etc, and just having fallen back to sleep at 6am (this was about 8:30). My overtired mother was on edge and sounded angry, though you do have to kind of yell for my grandfather to hear you, and of course got more upset by attempts to get her to calm down.

Usually at home, my family runs the party on the 4th. My dad and I go down to South Carolina and get the "good" fireworks ahead of time-- the ones that are illegal here. We make homemade, hand-cranked peach ice cream, a big lunch, go watch the neighborhood parade (we used to participate, with bikes or a float or something), and have all the neighbors and close family friends over to join in after the official fireworks for our own private show.

This year, the holiday is pretty much a non-event. We'll just be here in the house, waiting for the home health nurse to come and meet with us, etc. I'm happy to be able to help with things, and it's not like it's Christmas, but it is sad.

Hey, things could be worse though! Despite all of our family's health problems, at least we're in a relatively stable country with plenty of resources and decent healthcare and no danger of being blown up at the grocery store.

And I get to be home for K's beautiful wedding next weekend. That's very exciting! If things go well, my grandparents very well may be at home with us by then....we'll see how that goes.

1 comment:

mamie said...

So glad to find your blog, Audrey. Hope it won't cramp your style! Thanks for visiting and commenting on Mystic Lit.

Your post is very moving. I feel so fortunate (although it may sound strange) that my mom died when she did, no serious illness or prolonged good-byes, and that my dad enjoys relatively good health at 86.

You have a compassionate heart, which is obvious from the way you told the story of the fourth. Love you!