Monday, March 24, 2008


My daughter was going stir crazy yesterday afternoon but pain made me unable to venture far from home. So we phoned up my grandparents and asked if they'd like company--a definite yes. And I could lounge on the couch or in a comfy chair. Plus my grandfather had done without internet for a couple of days, figuring we were busy and not wanting to bother us until Monday.

We visited for a while, then Grandma insisted on making dinner for us--"just sandwiches." I offered to help, but really could not do much at all. Of course, when Grandma says sandwiches, she means something far more complex, and 45 minutes of puttering in the kitchen is required. "Just sandwiches" means:
-the ham she cooked yesterday
-the roast she cooked yesterday
-potato, green beans, carrots
-a platterful of strawberries, bananas, apples, and cookies
-two kinds of bread, two kinds of chips
-fresh sliced tomatoes, crisp onions, condiments
-hand tossed salad with lots of goodies added (not grocery store prepackaged)
-ice cream and angel food cake
I've never seen her not be prepared for a whole houseful of people on a moment's notice, and not only can you not refuse, but she will send you home with food, too. I asked her how she manages to keep her house so neat since she's older (83) and gets tired--and she said she can still do everything fine, vacuuming, dusting, and all. My aunt and others help with some household projects, as does my husband. My uncle, who's cognitively disabled, also is a huge help, especially with difficult tasks such as getting the groceries in and unloaded (she has osteoporosis). But she still does most things on her own, said she can even get down on the floor to scrub at something if she needs to, and thinks it's good to maintain her strength and do as much as she does. She likes puttering in the kitchen and giving to her family. It exhausts me to watch her sometimes.

I miss making meals for my grandparents and having them over, though with my grandfather on oxygen and needing nebulizer treatments often, he can't get out of the house for long at all. Walking even around the house gets him too out of breath, and he gets very ill for a while.

My grandmother has talked to us about being the caregivers for my uncle when they pass away--my parents are in worse health than me plus significantly older than my uncle; the aunt who is closer in age is having health difficulties as well. The minister at my grandparents' church stopped by yesterday and mentioned a specific church based nursing home for my uncle when they pass away, but I told Grandma I didn't think he needed to be there, that he wouldn't be happy there. She also mentioned money to the minister (the cost is extraordinarily high), and he told her not to worry about that at all, that he would be taken care of. But unless he gets to the point where he cannot be cared for at home due to health problems, he should be with family, as we should all be. He's only in his mid-fifties. My mother-in-law's response to this a few weeks ago is that we didn't need an additional "burden"! Additional.

Grandma says she worries about my uncle being abused, especially sexually. And worries that if he were abused verbally/physically he wouldn't understand, be able to report it. She said he didn't seem to realize that he was clearly slighted by someone recently, someone he liked.

Both of my grandparents are still doing some work at home and enjoy it--their dining table was full of papers. My parents do most of the work for the business now, but my grandparents still do some.

I've been absent minded lately and had forgotten to add descriptors of images where it's not clear from the context what appears there.

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