So This is The Beginning of the End

Uhm, I don’t really know where to begin.

We left for my grandparents’ house in Pennsylvania right after I got out of school on Friday. Because it’s such a long drive, twelve hours, we decided to stop about halfway there at a hotel to sleep. We usually don’t ever do that, since gas is expensive enough, but we did for a change, and it was really nice, being able to sleep in a bed instead of trying to fit my entire body on my seat. Ha.

We arrived around two at my grandparent’s. We all walked in and noticed immediate differences. My grandpap was lying on a hospital like bed (you know, the ones that raise up and down and have the bars on the side so you don’t fall off) with an oxygen tube in his nose and then another tube injecting him with some type of liquid or medicine, or something. I didn’t ask; I don’t really want to know. There’s this big machine at the foot of the bed that makes all these odd noises all the time, too.

I don’t think he knows who any of  us are. I think he knows we’re familiar and we’re either family or friends, but he hasn’t said any of our names and he keeps calling my dad Bob, my other uncle. I guess it’s comforting knowing that he knows we’re at least loved ones and not complete strangers.

He’s extremely skinny, to the point where he almost looks malnourished. He was a slim guy to begin with, but now his clothes are baggy and he has to wear belts with his pants. He doesn’t talk much. Well, to be fair he doesn’t do anything really but sleep in his bed. When he does talk, it’s just little comments like, “Why, look at the wind,” or “I want a Pepsi.” My aunt and uncle said that he hardly eats, despite everyone’s efforts to get him too. Usually a few bites is all he will eat and then he’ll say he’s full. He also uses a walker now, which I know a lot of elderly do, just seeing my grandpap use one is so… sigh. I don’t know. He used to be so strong and healthy for his age; seeing him use one just kind of breaks my heart.

My aunt and uncle who live right next door to my grandparents came over shortly after we arrived and talked with us about how things have been going on around here. My dad had taken my grandma to the cemetery to plant flowers on her parents’ graves so my aunt and uncle were free to tell us everything. While my grandpap has been doing awful, my grandma is totally blind to that fact. She thinks that he’s improving and getting better, and that soon enough he won’t need all these machines around his bed. I’m not being a pessimist, but he really is not going to get better; he’s past that point.

She’s also starting get confused, and often. It’s not that there is anything really wrong with her medically, she’s just old. Things just aren’t clicking when people try to explain things to her. For example, my grandma wanted to my aunt to get her groceries, so she said she’d drop by after work to get them. When my aunt dropped by later, my grandma said, “You’re home from work early. When are you getting the groceries, later tonight?” when my aunt had the groceries in her hand and was actually late coming home from work.

My grandma loves to cook and is an amazing one at that, and she’s always very precise in it. Afterward, she would always clean the kitchen up and it would be spotless, but now she never does that. She made a cherry pie for us, and when I walked through the kitchen this morning to take a shower, it looked like someone had been murdered. Me and my mom cleaned it up; at least the pie still tasted amazing.

There are some things that still remain the same. They still have this bird that should have died like ten years ago. It sits in the dining room and squawks all the time; it’s thirty-two years old is what my grandma said. My grandma still cooks great, at least from the one pie we tasted. We’re having a ton of aunts and uncles and cousins over later for a memorial day picnic, so we can put her food to the test later. Except, I don’t think we’re eating outside, heh.

There’s nothing to do here, and I’ve been in a pretty down mood, so despite saying I was going on a hiatus, I’m not. I just need to talk. I get horrid service up here, so I can’t really text Andrew. I can call him though, for some reason that always goes through.

So basically what I’ve learned, is that my grandpap is like a little kid. You have to help him with everything and do everything for him. He can’t bathe himself, so someone comes about three times a week to bathe him and help him shave and everything since my grandma can’t. You have to cut up his meals into little bitty bites. He used to love desserts. My grandma would always have to watch him after she cooked a bunch of cookies and pies so he didn’t sneak off with some. Now he says he’s too full to eat them.

Seeing all this just makes me want to go home. I don’t want to see or remember either of them like this. :(

20 thoughts on “So This is The Beginning of the End”

  1. Awesome :)! Everyone needs a rest for road trips. Seriously, it may sound fun sitting in the car for hours, but the buttocks and thighs do get numb D’:! And with the gas prices rocket high, it’s outrageous -___-! Thank you, wars, or something.

    Eek! :X! It’s starting to get serious for your grandfather :/. I hope he is not 100% depending on the oxygen tank and the liquid baggies! Because it’s really. Heart shattering. Seriously- it’s not a pleasant sight. :/. It’s still good that he recognizes the family one way or another. I hope your grandfather is still healthy in some ways! Because being extremely skinny and not eating a lot is scary- seriously. At least you have the younger family members watching over them from time to time :)!

    Wow :X! When time passes by, things happen. And changes. At least your grandma still makes kickass pies :D! And it’s awesome of you and your mom to clean up after the mess :)!

    Oh my god. A 30 year old bird is AWESOME! Especially since it’s alive! Your grandparents are taking an awesome care of the birdy (:! I always think texting would go through better than calling because you need constant connection for calling :O! But bleh. These things are complicated -___-!

    I hope you’ll enjoy the family memorial day picnic feast with the family (:!

    Even a few years later- you can even look into the yearbook! I’ve met people after they graduate- which have gone to the same school when I was there and haven’t met them XD! And be like, “oooh so that’s ___!” Like a couple of band people- I went back to middle school and saw a bunch of them in the yearbook of those years XD!

    Oh my god. Getting the yearbook the following year is just. What the —. It’s seriously lagging it. -___-!

    No problem :)! All you need is a little push and you got it through :)! Never give up- that’s the thing :D! I would love to have a new bedspread! I’m just using an old scooby doo blanket over my bed for now. Because it’s too comfy and cool :D!

    Take care (: and have an awesome memorial day weekend!

  2. Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear about your Grandpap still, and now your Grandma? Oh man, that must be really heartbreaking! I know it was when I had found my grandmother lying on the kitchen floor dead with her mouth open. God that was traumatizing. It literally broke my heart, and I was so confused that night. I think I might’ve told you this but I’m not sure though.

    But wow, that’s a little crazy! He can’t eat a lot anymore? That’s very sad indeed. No wonder why you want to come home! I don’t blame you. It’s just going to upset you even more seeing your Grandparents like that knowing what they’re going through and etc.

    I’ll be praying for you guys! I really will. No harm in praying for those in need in a time like this!

    So tomorrow’s Memorial day! I actually spent the night at my dad’s gf’s place last night. I honestly liked the firmness of her couch, and it was actually comfortable. But the fact of sleeping in a different surrounding just really bothers me. My dad says I’m not used to it. And I do believe he’s correct. And also another thing is that my medications NOW are actually contradicting with my brain waves making it almost impossible for me to sleep. And the other reason was, I was having seizures all night. My music is supposed to be my rescue medicine. And I can’t stand it anymore. I’ll listen to a few songs, and be like I gotta yank these earphones out of my ears or I’ll go nuts. Hell; I’m going nuts just having these damn things. And not to mention, my mind wanders into la la land, and I see images of Celebrities and hearing what they’re saying, is really creepy. Ya know? But eesh. It’s just something I really don’t want to keep doing. I’m going to call my Doctor’s again on Tuesday, ask them if they have actually faxed over my referral like they said they had, and than call the neurology department and ask them if they have received it and see when my appointment is. All I can do is hope and pray that they have it by now. And I’ll get that appointment.

    I mean hell; I’m pretty smart when it comes to figuring things out, such as electronics, strategy games, and etc. But what I really don’t like is MATH. I hate it with a passion. I’m actually hating myself for not doing so well; in math. But hell; in junior college when I took it I actually got that passing mark which is almost like an A+, but it’s a passing mark. But still as long as I stay away from MATH, I’ll be stress free.

    I’m just tired of people trying to be clingy. I know I was that way at one point in time, but no longer. I want to be free and be my own person. And I agree with you. I just can’t flipping hop all out of a SEIZURE, and answer the door. And hell; no I’m not gonna answer the door at night either! Forget that.

    Oh I know how you feel about being stressed out about things. I want to work, and go to school at the same doing the Weight Watchers meetings as well; as the volunteer work. But oh man. I’m not even sure if I can pull it off this summer. As much as I’d like to go, and have the financial aid already, there’s just no way I can afford all the school supplies and backpack and what not. Ya know? Plus clothes! My gosh! I’m actually trying to save up. My dad and I have this idea, that since it worked before, I’m taking my money that I receive from SSI, and taking about 100.00 and giving him the rest and he’ll be locking it away in his safe. If I need some or any of it, I’ll ask him and he could either tell me to go “F*CK yourself” (lol just joking there), or “No way Jose! You’re saving it up remember?”. But yeah, it worked before, that’s how I was able to get my furniture and my car. Which took a dump in October of last year, but oh well. I can’t drive and have seizures too. So again, hopefully the neurologist will have my dang appointment already set up. :/. But yeah, I have so much on my plate right now, I don’t need a clingy person to be spying on me or to be telling me what to do. I’m not a little kid I’m 28 years old. But my gosh. I did email her yesterday telling her how I felt. And of course when I was packing what do I hear? A Freaking KNOCK from her. I was like cussing a little bit under my breath, and honestly. I didn’t want to answer the door. And she actually wanted to stand there and talk. I told her that I’m going to go somewhere. She asked when will you be back? I dunno. Sometime. Oh okay. What’s wrong? I can tell something’s wrong. I emailed it to you. Why’d you do that? Everyone can see it? No they can’t. Honestly. But yeah it’s all explained in the email. And no I’m not mad I’m just telling you straight up. I haven’t gotten a word from her. So I dunno. I just got back around 6:30 or 7:00. Cause I honestly wanted to be around my surroundings where I know it’s comfortable, and I can easily go and rest, and be in peace after seizuring. I hate having those in front of people. It makes me feel bad. To tell you the truth. I had one in front of my dad’s girlfriend, and well; I started crying after she had left to go to the bathroom. I wasn’t feeling good, and didn’t want to be there. I almost could’ve curled up in the corner and sucked my thumb (which I don’t really do but I could’ve), it was that bad. I almost said “Shoot me and get me out of my misery please!”. But I didn’t do that either. Thank god I had enough sense to just hide my face and act bored. I was also really bored with the conversation we were having. She was basically telling me, my social skills sucked which they really do. And I would seriously fail in the working world (which is true I have failed in the past). But hearing her that I need someone to make decisions for me? I was like I don’t need that. I can make decisions on my own. She also wants me to go to College now in the summer. Uh-uh, isn’t going to happen. Sorry but it’s not. But anywho, I know she was trying to help, but my not feeling good wasn’t taking it the right way. My dad explained it to her cause she was worried and had called him. But yeah, she’s not stepping over the boundary or anything like that she was just trying to give guidance. Ya know? It’s just these dang seizures are literally poisoning my brain. -_-. Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful Memorial day, despite your troubles and worries!

  3. It’s great that you got to stay in a hotel for a change! It’s difficult trying to cramp into a car. I completely agree with you on the gas prices, however. My dad works for Chevron & says that when gas prices go up, you basically know the economy isn’t great. Here in California, we’re paying about $4 a gallon and that’s outrageous!

    I’m so sorry about what’s happening to your grandfather! I’m glad he still at least somewhat recognizes the faces of you and your family. He’s very lucky to have people that care about him so much.
    As for your grandmother, this whole thing must be especially difficult for her. She sounds very worried about it all but seems to be trying to stay as optimistic as possible. I hope she’s alright & you guys continue to support her through this!
    You’ve been very strong through all of this & I’m so sorry about what’s happening ): I hope you are alright & things will look up soon!

    __

    I’m glad that you can talk to your parents and feel mostly comfortable about it! I think it’d be a very important thing to have, especially through time. It’s not necessary to have your parents be your best friend and to tell them all of your secrets, but a good solid foundation is good (:

  4. You sleep in the car during trips? That sounds awful! I’m so grumpy after long car rides. But I would probably start throwing luggage at someone if they told me I had to sleep in the seat. xD

    I’m sorry about your grandfather. My grandfather uses a walker too, although at this point, I really wish he would just use a wheelchair. Every step he takes is such a challenge for him, and his wife (she’s not my real grandmother) is so mean to him about it. She married him for his money, which sucks, and now she makes him feel so useless and pathetic. It’s horrible.

    That’s the terrible thing about degenerating diseases; there’s no getting better. It’s such an awful thing to have to watch a loved one go through this and then to realize that every moment you spend with that person is the best it’ll ever get. I keep wishing that I could simply wake up one day and doctors will have discovered a cure… just like that. But I know it’s not that simple. I wish my grandfather could find something to do–take up a hobby of some sort–but everything is too challenging for him. He’s like a very small child, except his brain is regressing, not progressing. There’s no hope and nothing for him to do, besides sleep and eat and watch television, until the day he dies.

    I think it’s so sad that people start to lose their bearings as they age. I think the one thing that scares me more than death itself is the fear of spending my last years like my grandparents.

    Yum… pie. At least she can still cook. My grandmother died of cancer when I was a little child, but I remember she was the most amazing cook I had ever met.

    A thirty-two year old bird?!? That’s crazy! But very cool. That’s over twice my own age!

    Ugh, I know. It’s terrible. Our grandfathers practically lead parallel lives. I wish I could say that there is hope, but that’s the worst part: there is none. The only thing I can do is promise myself I will do anything I can to prevent something similar from happening to me. In my opinion, the one thing that would have saved my grandfather was exercise. He was brilliant, but he never so much as picked up a weight his whole life long. And I seriously think that his brain is paying for it now. It’s terribly sad, but I guess that the hope is for our generation. The hope is that we’ll learn from watching them, and we will eat healthy and exercise to keep our minds strong, even in old age.

  5. Cool! I am so glad you have such a wonderful website. ^_^
    I hope you are ok and are handling your grandparents.

  6. :O! Reading a book while being in the car that’s driving?! :O I can’t even do that! When I try to read, I get headaches- I guess it’s because I’m not used to it :/. I need a steady spot. :P. Dozing off is still good because at least you’re not sitting there, mad the whole time and complaining! XD

    It HAS to be the middle east that ruins everything for us. It reminds me of the 1954 Iran coup d’etat. Or something. Them getting overthrown because of oil :O! Something to do with oil. Always. -___-! I don’t even know why the army is still there- unless it’s for oil. Again.. And Gadaffi. Oh that.. Old man.

    Aww :C. Sonny is a strong birdie :)! Can be living off “alone” in the way that there’s no companion D:! I remembered hearing my friend having 2 birds, but the male bird “ate” the female one, one day. It’s like o__O!!!

    Omg. Someone should just revoke that. Prom pictures??! WE CAN FIND THEM ON FACEBOOK NOW! Just give the dang yearbook already! XD. And most of the time, some seniors aren’t even near the school grounds (outta city college) to even pick up the yearbook :C.

    Thank you :D! Take care and enjoy the picnic :D!

  7. I’m sorry you are having a hard time.
    From my memories of not wanting to be somewhere, I’m glad I didn’t have to choose how long I wanted to be there. It wasn’t short enough but it wasn’t forever too. And when I was through with it I gained something. Sometimes patience but other times I could relate to others who went through the same thing I did.
    Maybe you can find someone who is going through the same thing? It may help a bit.
    But, I try to be cautious when telling others about their feelings because I know there is a thin line from being in pain and not. And for some reason there is a gorge between being able to relate to the other side. So if I need to be quiet and just listen tell me. I have no problem with just listening. :)

  8. I think it’s so sad to see elderly so frail. They look helpless and fragile, and I just feel bad for them. I always try and hold the door open for them, and make sure they know I’m not a disrespectful teenager. :3

    Anyways, I hope things with your grandfather go okay. I know things like that are hard to deal with, but that is the circle of life, unfortunately. We live for 70, 80, maybe even 90+ years, and then we’re gone. Poof. Our existence practically useless because we spend our entire life rushing to be somewhere, do something, and be someone, and we don’t stop once until we take our last breathes. I am sure your grandfather lived a great life, and hopefully things climb uphill for him inside of down.

    Hopefully talking to Andrew helps some. I don’t have a boyfriend, but I do have a really great guy friend who’s always there when I need him, and he’s helped me through so much. I’m very thankful for him to say the least.

  9. That’s scary. :( I’m so worried, and they aren’t even my grandparents. I can’t even imagine what it must be like, since I can’t remember a time in my life when I had to deal with anything like that.

    At least, even in that state, he still knows that you and your family are important people to him.

    Clearly, your grandmother isn’t taking it well. All this must be so hard on her. I would probably be confused to; not only does it come with the age, but her situation’s just so terrifying and depressing.

    Good luck to you and your family in handling all of this. It must be hard to see them like that. :(

  10. It really was a blast. It was a struggle for sure, but definitely worth it. Ah, isn’t it gorgeous? One day, you should hike the whole thing. It’s a really life-altering experience (cliche, I know, but it’s true.) :)

    I know. The Earth is so fascinating! It’s so crazy to think about how old it is and how much it has changed over time. Totally mind-boggling. And thanks. :)

    Birds are such neat creatures. Sonny is such a cute name! Sorry about Cher. How amazing that they can live so long, though!

    Thanks. It’s really tragic; there’s no better word for it. And, aw, my heart goes out to you and your family too. That’s the worst–when perfectly healthy, brilliant people suddenly fall ill. Maybe by our time, doctors will finally understand why these diseases happen. Or better, maybe our generation will be the one that finds the cure. :)

  11. I’m sorry about your grandpa. I just can’t imagine what you’re going through seeing what’s happening and I really can only sympathise. It’s a stage we all go through and I don’t think anyone likes seeing their grandparents in such a state because we love them so very much. I’m sure your grandparents are just as strong as you imagined them, inside they’re strong and you know they fought for as long as they could. Seeing them at their weakest point is so upsetting. *hugs*

    I hope that you have a safe trip home and remember all the good memories you had with your grandparents. It’s still lovely that you’ve visited them and take care of them in their time of need. No matter what state they’re in now, they probably really appreciate what you’re doing for them with all their heart. <3

  12. Aw, this is a great example of time going by too fast. =( I’m sorry you had to see your grandpa like this, it’s a horrible moment. I think it brings memories of how grandpas would play with you when you’re young, and now … well. I don’t have memories like this because I technically never met my grandparents (only saw them once when I was REALLY young apart from yearly pictures). I just know that there might not be much to do, but it’s nice to spend time with your family once in a while. So I think just smile for the moment. =D

    A 32 year old bird? Is that even possible?! O_O Lol

    Everyone has been suggesting similar things. I guess I could do something with friends from town (who aren’t really my friends) but I’d rather shop myself. Except I’m very limited since my town literally has NOTHING, not even a movie theater! You need to drive to get anywhere, and I can’t drive. I’m like the only one I know who can’t.

    Sometimes I don’t feel like replying to comments either though, and I don’t even go to school. I don’t think there’s such thing as excuses and what. You reply to comments when and if you want to. At least this time I replied faster I think, hahaha. Still like half a week. Sorry 0_0

    High five for not being able to code WordPress! LOL! I think for me it’s just that I’m lazy. I’m too lazy to be on the computer these days. Really.

  13. Aie, I know what you mean! The usual culprit thinks they are just a little angel…I sometimes want to scream at them. Dx

    Badminton is actually REALLY good for hand-eye coordination and it helps with thinking on your feet because you have to make sure you opponent doesn’t hit the shuttlecock back so I definitely recommend you give it another shot! it doesn’t matter if you’re bad I guess, badminton champions didn’t start off champions, they gradually got better :)

    I hope you’ve finished your English! I hate English projects because they can be really vague…

    Oh my gosh, I really feel for you. I live with my grandparents and if something ever happened to either of them, it just breaks my heart. I remember whenever my grandma got sick, I used to panic so much as if she was going to be hospitalised or something when it was just a bit of food poisoning. And I hate the stage of old age – some things just start to degenerate and it’s really painful to watch.

    I hope your grandpa’s condition starts to improve, even if it is all little steps. :( If you ever need anyone to talk to, you can lay it all on me (:

    & at least your grandma still has a passion – I know if my grandparents didn’t, they wouldn’t have turned out as healthy as they do now.

  14. That’s really sad! Similar thing has happened to me before. There’s nothing you really can do about it, you just have to accept it, Wish I had better advice! Hope they’re ok!

  15. I’m so sorry to hear your grandfather isn’t doing well… I can imagine it’s getting you down. After all, they’re your loved ones and you want your loved ones to be happy and healthy. I’m glad you can talk to your other family about it =) I hope things will be at least a little easier on all of you, soon!

  16. Stay strong Becca! There are just those time when we need to face problems like this. By the way, I chose a course in the medical field so somehow, in the near future, I’ll see more people like you with their love ones sick in bed. I just don’t want you to lose hope.

  17. Awww sweetie, I am so sorry. I am not sure what to say because this happened to my grandmother also. I refused to see her so you’ve gone one better then I did. I couldn’t bare to think of her as someone who doesn’t remember me at all. This is one of the reasons I don’t want to get old, I rather die young.

    My site is now fixed so people can comment, it’s been infuriating …

  18. awww Becca! I hope everything works out for your family :( It sucks to see family members on their death beds =/ Even though you are saying he won’t get better, I hope he does. Or at least stops suffering (that is always the worst). It must have been a surprise seeing your grandpa like this. I think I would be in shock if I did not know what happened. I hope everything works out :)

    My grandma is like that too, she is also loosing her memory. I wish people didn’t loose their memories and I wish people were always healthy. It is painful seeing a family member who is suffering.

    On a happier note, I am glad you and your boyfriend are together because of that reason lol I am in the same problem because I do not know how he feels about me. We both went to prom together and all of our friends were like “you guys are such a cute couple” and (not to sound cocky) but I we did look really good together. We also prom danced together, which was special. We like held hands before and cuddled, but nothing ever more. He is kind of a quiet and reserved person so i do not think he’ll make a move. And I do not want to make a move, if its the wrong one. I don’t want to mess the relationship we share. We are not friends but we are not best friends. Somedays I think he likes me while others I do not. We talk like everyday too (text, skype or cell or in person). He actually called me today and rambled how he wanted a donut and how I went to see the Hangover part 2 without him. Ugg. lol (I just ranted like a summary of 9 months worth of this situation) haha I guess I’ll just wait, well next year I’ll be a senior, maybe I’ll make a move. i mean it’s senior year, right? lol

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