Family Matters,  the sticks

Pancakes at Grandpa’s

I had to make one more quick trip to the sticks for a birthday party for my niece, Super Chic and to do one last load of laundry before we go on our big trip up north. Gotta have all the clothes clean so that maximum cute outfits can be worn. You know how it goes.

While I was out in the sticks we also squeezed in a pancake breakfast at my Grandpa’s house. As you can see he’s doing quite well after just having a pretty serious surgery. I guess we just have super genes in this family. Surgery? No sweat! My Grandpa’s surgery is way way way more serious than mine but he recuperated almost as quickly as I did. He’s amazing.

I love visiting my Grandpa’s house. It’s like stepping back in time. I used to spend a lot of time at my Grandparent’s (not this house but others that they lived in) when I was growing up and all the knick knacks and doo dads remind me of being a little kid. I miss my Grandma so much. She died many years ago. My Grandpa keeps almost everything exactly the way she did. Except he does guy things like hang every single cooking utensil on the wall just like he hangs all his tools up in his tool shed. I love him for his quirky ways. He’s an inventor. He’s invented lots of things but none of them are famous.

Thank you to all of you who prayed that my Grandpa might get better quick. He sure appreciated it. I need to ask you to keep praying for him. Physically he’s back to his old self but mentally he’s still suffering.

You might remember my Great Aunt, my Grandpa’s sister? Well, her health has been declining drastically this last year. She finally had to be put into a rest home and she’s slowly dying. Unfortunately, it’s affecting her mind the most. What’s so terrible is that my Grandpa has waited on her hand and foot for probably the last ten years. He’s caring that way. He cooks for her and cleans and runs around town doing errands for her. He stays by her bedside 24/7 when she’s in the hospital. His life is dedicated to her. He used to leave little notes in her bed clothes for the nurses to find. The notes would say things like, “Please take care of my sister.” It’s all very sad and tragic because the hospital staff wasn’t always as caring as he would like them to be.

But what is the most sad is that my Great Aunt is turning against my Grandpa. She’s going insane and telling him that he doesn’t love her any more. It’s ripping my Grandpa to pieces. He knows it’s her dementia and that she is not herself but for some reason he can’t stop taking it personally. He’s been crying a lot and worrying himself sick when he should be taking it easy. It’s just so hard to lose the ones you love.


  • Marissa

    The best thing to do is to be thankful of your loved ones. Times like these make you realize that you can always squeeze a little harder when you hug them…too mushy?

  • Beck's Mom

    Might Grandpa Mc be able to attend a dementia caregiver’s support group meeting? The understanding and comraderie of folks who are experiencing similar challenges has been a positive for some in my family.

    The website for their local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association is Even if her dementia isn’t Alz related, the Alz Assn can help and/or refer to something that may be a closer fit than what they offer. There are four Alz support groups that meet in his town.

  • erika

    My grandma suffered from Alzheimer’s and that was the hardest. It hurt the most when I went in for a hug and she pushed me away. That’s when I knew that our relationship would never be the same, no more recognition.

    I’m sorry your grandpa is going through this. I hope he gets the support and love he needs. I love Marissa’s comment, longer and tighter hugs help a lot.

  • BeachMama

    Your Grandpa sounds like one of the most wonderful caring people in the whole world. His notes to the nurses tells how much he loves his Sister. I am sure it is really rough for him for her to be turning on him. Try to remind him how wonderful he is and perhaps leave him a note or two.

  • karen

    I was at the South Coast Plaza today and I swear that I saw Toby (or someone that looked JUST like him) doing some photography and I really wanted to say hi but I thought “Hi, uh…you don’t know me but I know about you…from your wife’s blog…hi…” sounded really creepy so I just smiled as I passed him (or his twin). I always find it strange when I see people from the internet in real life. I think they just live in my computer or something.

  • Marilyn

    Is that my old buddy Tom the Trucker flipping those pancakes?! Tell him I said “HI!” :) Dementia’s a heartbreaker. My grandfather passed when I was little, but most of his brothers and sisters ended up with dementia and it was hard to witness it happening.

  • Jamie

    I’m so sorry about your great aunt. The little notes your grandpa would leave…that is just too sweet for words.

    p.s. I love iron skillets! I have one that my grandmother gave me several years ago…she swore by them, especially for breakfast feasts! :)

  • Lisa

    oh, Brenda – that is just heartbreaking. your poor Grandpa. getting old must really suck in a lot of ways, i’m glad you and Baby Bug are around to give him a little sunshine.