Checking in with the Grandparents

December 28, 2013

The carpets are dirty. It's the first thing I notice when I walk in. 

Grandma always kept a very tidy house in the past. She's the one who always had rugs over the carpet to keep it clean, to prevent the mud and muck on our shoes from making contact. Altzheimer's has removed Grandma's compulsion to keep a tidy house. 

Pap gave me a few notepads, pens and wallets to make use of, if I can. I don't know what I'll do with these things. These things, like most things he's been gifting me in the past year or so, are less practical than the things he used to gift, like small machinery, bags of doorknobs, and hand tools. He wants to give. It's his nature. It's a rare occasion to leave without a bag of stuff to take with me. But there's so little stuff left. 

Pap told me they moved the bedroom downstairs. Climbing the stairs is too difficult for him and Grandma is prone to tripping up or down them. Her body lets her runs up and down the stairs but her mind isn't focused enough to make sure one foot is firmly planted before picking up the other. 

He poured small glasses of port for me, grandma, and himself. The gesture wasn't really for toasting anything in particular – he's emptying his liquor cabinent because he thinks he might die any day or minute now. He doesn't want anything to go to waste, or anybody to be burdened with sorting through and out his belongings. So we'll drink in the early afternoon, even if there's a lot yet to do today. I hoisted my glass, said "Cheers!" to Pap and Grandma, before sipping as I toasted privately to the inverse of his concerns.

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