If you follow Bunny & Dolly on Facebook, you may have seen my post explaining my unexpected absence from the blog. Last week, my grandfather passed away at the age of 87 from Alzheimer’s, and JB, Levi and I quickly flew to the East Coast to be with my family. My grandpa’s health had been declining rapidly since the fall, but his quality of life began decreasing a couple of years ago.
The last time I saw my grandpa was in September. We brought Levi to meet his great-grandparents, but he only spent time with his great-grandma that afternoon. My grandfather slept through our entire visit; he was in the sleeping-all-the-time stage of the disease. I regret that he never got to meet his great-grandson. He always wanted a boy in the family, even going so far as to call my childhood Bichon Frise his “four-legged grandson.”
Sadly, I don’t remember the last time I interacted with my grandpa. Probably Thanksgiving of 2010. Living in Omaha, I don’t get to see my extended family much. (My immediate family flies out to visit often.) Over the years, as his cognitive impairment and then dementia set in, it became harder and harder for me to spend time with him. It upset me too much to see him fumble over his words or forget the stories he loved to tell. Eventually, he couldn’t even form sentences. He just sat there mumbling to himself.
I don’t want those to be my memories of my grandfather. Hopefully I can start remembering our time together prior to the past five or so years. It helped to be with my parents and relatives these last couple of days, sharing happy stories about my grandpa.
We were away for nearly a week, and now I need to refocus my attention on my family and friends, my work and my writing. I feel emotionally and physically drained, though, and my mind is fuzzy. Please excuse me if posting is sporadic over the next couple of days, and you’ll have to forgive me for not uploading Levi’s 7 month portrait yet. My to-do list is growing and growing, but motivation is still dragging behind.