Thursday, April 9, 2009

Beautiful Spring Day and The Circle of Life

The sun is shining and the birds are singing. Days like this make me feel so good and seem to make such a difference in mood, health, and ability to "deal". So why don't we all live where there's more sunshine? Western Pennsylvania is beautiful on days like this, but we just don't have enough of them. And maybe I wouldn't appreciate them so much if they were more frequent.

I'm also alone in my house right now and that doesn't seem to happen too often lately, either. As much as I love my family being close enough to "pop in", anyone that knows me knows that I savor my alone time. I think this is much more a "woman thing". My husband works from home and really doesn't care that much to be alone for very long.

We are very lucky to have five generations of our family living in our small town. The down fall is - we have five generations of family living in our small town. They call my generation the sandwich generation. I am the middle of a double decker sandwich. My parents, ages 70 and 71, live right down the road, and my grandparents, ages 92 and 93, live in an Assisted Living Village, about 7 miles from me. Then I have my 28 year old son and his family also living in town about 7 miles away, and my new daughter in law living with us while my younger son , Brandon, is away at Air Force Basic Training in San Antonio. My oldest son, Austin, has 2 sons ages 3 and 4. Bob and I have them visit and stay with us quite often. We are very lucky, indeed, and it's all nice, especially when everyone is healthy, well, happy and content. But all the stars are not perfectly aligned most of the time, and then you just want to cry, "Calgon, take me away".

Our issue today is Grandma and Grandpa. Grandma is very frail and weak physically and can't do anything for herself. Mentally she is very sharp. Grandpa, on the other hand, is fairly strong physically, but losing mental capacity. He's confused and forgetful. They've been married for 72 years. Well, on Monday night, Grandpa fainted in the bathroom, along with a sudden loss of bodily function. So the ambulance arrived, and after kissing Grandma on the forehead and telling her he thought he was dying, he was taken to the hospital. It was determined he was anemic and for some reason his blood pressure plummeted. He was given IV's and blood and went back home last night. Grandpa really is not able to help Grandma with all of her needs, but she wanted him back with her. Grandpa made sure that Grandma was told that he loved her when he was in the hospital. It's all very touching, but very sad. My mother and I take turns going to the Village to feed Grandma her lunch, wash her a little, comb her hair, and anything else she may need. She really needs to go into the Nursing Home where she can get the extended care that she needs. By having them make this move, they will leave their little 3 room apartment, nicely furnished and private, and move into a sterile, hospital room type environment. What to do? This is very sad and difficult to witness.

Since they are in my thoughts so much right now, I am reminded of what wonderful grandparents and role models they were for me, especially when I was a young mother. I learned so much from Grandma as far as being a good wife, being a good mother, keeping a nice house, and always being loving and there for us. Now that I'm a grandmother of two boys, I think, "what would Grandma have done", many times. And I'm still amazed when I think of how perfect she kept her house. I try to do everything the way she did, but I feel I still never get it quite as perfect as she did. And now --- she thanks me for taking care of her. I'm so lucky to have had them so long in my life, but yet it's been so hard lately to compare what is with what was. The Circle of Life!! A blessing that's not always easy.


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