Old School Country

I'll start off with the total highlight of my day. I found my old iPod!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I've been going crazy trying to find it this week, but super extra crazy to find it today. My hallway looks like some kind of laundry/paper/yarn (don't know how that's in there)/box bomb went off. But finding my iPod was the one and only thing that I could do today that would make me feel better.

I haven't written much about things lately. I honestly don't know how to talk about it.
In case you haven't got it already on Instagram or Facebook or on this blog before, my grandpa is a very wonderful man, and isn't like any old grandpa. He has made a huge difference in my life and I feel lucky to have grown up with a grandpa like him.

My grandpa is funny, charismatic, can pretty much fix anything that's broken, and you can call him anytime for directions on how to get somewhere in Edmonton (which I STILL did until I left for Madagascar).

But a cardiac surgery he had October 2012 left him with brain damage and significantly increased the severity of his dimentia. Since the surgery, he's had anything and everything go wrong.

This week  he went into an extended care facility.  I can't imagine what it's like to be in a place like that. Especially since you know, my grandpa is funny, charismatic, can pretty much fix anything, and can give you directions on how to get anywhere in Edmonton. Making things even harder is that these (and many more) wonderful traits are now locked inside him, ocassionally coming out just a little bit, from time to time. No one, not even he has the key, and no one, not even he can tell us when he can come out and show his true self. The funny guy. The loving guy. The charismatic guy that will tease you wether you like it or not. :P

Today, for whatever reason, I decided that it would be a super good idea to get up at 07h00 and bring him A&W for breakfast on the coldest day of the year (apparently it was -50*C with the windchill. It felt brutally cold). The A&W I found wasn't open, so I went to McDonalds. (We all love their coffee).

My grandpa wasn't having the best day, he's picked up a stomach bug or something ON TOP of having a seizure and moving into a new place this week. He's not much of a talker when he's not having a great day, and I'm horrible at small talk. (No joke, my first performance review at my first real job had comments like, "Be more personable and social during audits", "Engage in chitchat". I EVEN had to make notes on my computer to remind me...) . But the breakfast company was nice...and...I'll take any excuse to eat breakfast out.

After breakfast, we went into his room and waited for some time for the nurses to bring around this lift to put him in his reclining chair that was brought from home and I didn't want to leave while he was still in his wheelchair. It was clear he was very tired and not super interested in talking. And I...had nothing to say.

Since he wasn't feeling great sitting across the room from him on the bed or on a chair further away felt unnatural. So, I sat on this makeshift dolly (that he made, to use to fix anything) that was in his room from the day before used to bring his reclining chair.

I sat right next to his wheel chair. Silent.

Then I decided we'd listen to some music on my phone. I found a good station that played old-school country music.

"Hello Darlin'" by Conway Twitty came on almost immediately. I felt the urge to cry and smile at the same time. This is the song I associate with my grandpa. I could probably have hummed along with the song when I was tiny. I've heard him sing the song like...an infinity amount of times. I don't know how it's possible that I don't know all the words.

The next song came on (no idea who it was but my grandpa said he knew the band) and I saw his foot tap along. As tired as he was. As crappy as he was feeling, he tapped his foot. I felt like I did it. I don't know what "it" is. But I felt like I made some tiny, minute difference his day.

I think he knows I'm crap at small talk. He knows that right now, he's not so great at small talk. So we just chilled out, listening to music.

Since then, I've been going kind of crazy to find my old iPod so that he can listen to music whenever he wants. 'Cause I feel like it's the only thing that I can do that can make ME feel better about this whole thing. I want to take away his pain. I want to help make him strong again.. But I can't.

I pray for him to have more good days and more good moments. I pray for my grandma to continue to be strong and healthy. I pray for my grandpa to know how much he is loved.

I pray for myself to be strong. And to always remember, no matter what, he's still my grandpa. Who, you know, is funny, charistmatic, can fix almost anything, and give you directions on how to get anywhere in Edmonton.

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