of my grandfather

Today my 87 year old grandfather came to stay through the weekend.  I am delighted that he is here, and I hope to make in him feel welcome.

But I am also anxious about his stay.   He requires some “assisted living” such as setting out his pills, fixing his meals, or helping him on the stairs.  He doesn’t see or hear well, and he sleeps most of the day.   Doesn’t sound like I have a difficult job of taking care of him, does it?

But what if I have him do something he doesn’t want to do?

What if he doesn’t want to take his pills?

What if he doesn’t want to eat?

What if, what if, what if?

How do I treat him with dignity and respect when he may not want to do what is in his best interest?  How does one decide what is the in the best interest of a 87 year old man?  When do I gently insist on something?  When do I back off?

I probably don’t have to be concerned with any of these things.  This weekend will just fly by as they all do, and then he’ll be going back to my parent’s house.   But ever since I agreed to care for him, I’ve been mulling over these things.

More importantly, while he is here  I want him to watch the boys play and walk with us on the drive.  I want him to tell stories of his childhood in Arkansas.

I want him to know he is valuable to us.

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3 thoughts on “of my grandfather

  1. What a blessing it will be to your grandfather for him to be in your home and around your — his — wonderful family! Your days will be full and you will drop exhausted (maybe more than usual) into bed at night — but you will always cherish this time and the memories you make the effort to have with him.

    I always loved my grandmother’s stories of teaching pupils in a one-room school house — and of her mother crossing into Kansas in a covered wagon — and of my grandfather getting a speeding ticket driving in St. Louis for going too SLOW! Precious memories for her — and a joy for her share with us.

    You are honoring your Grandfather just by spending this time — and honoring your parents by giving them a break for a few days. But easy? No. The doubts you have are understandable — but put them in the hands of the Father and trudge ahead! Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you, my friend.

  2. Susan,
    Thanks for the encouragement. Day 1 has been successful. I did have to gently insist that he take all the pills . . . he was just certain there were too many! However, he did take them all. We played dominoes with him, watched Columbo, and talked of my visiting them while growing up. Jacob is so loving and gentle with him. He initiates hugs and conversation with grandpa without my nudging. The little boys talk with him too, but I always have to interpret since he can’t hear or understand them.

  3. I was really concerned too, when I stayed with him in July. I was at mom and dad’s, so that was a little easier, since he was used to his environment. But I understand what you are struggling with. Caleb would come up to him and just gab really loudly, almost yelling, and grandpa would just laugh.

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