Grandad just turned ninety four, he’s well on and off sort of, but it’s tricky as he keeps falling over. He suffers from Alzheimer’s but otherwise he is in good health. He hates his photograph being taken, he doesn’t like my kids coming to see him at home. So they sneak a look though the door, inquisitive, unsure, scared. What to do with Grandad as he gets frailer but still desperate to be independent, stay in his own home… but it’s really hard as he just keeps failing over and his house has so many steps. What are we going to do about Grandad?
When I think about what he must have seen in his life time is really does blow my mind. He was in the war as an engineer working on fixing planes but he was also a prize chicken farmer in Dorset but there is so much I really don’t know about him too. He was not a “get down on the floor and play” sort of person. He was outside most of the time, working the land, making something out of nothing and cooking the most enormous hams.
I feel very little connection to him but also a deep sense of belonging too. I have learnt more from him in the last few difficult weeks than I ever have, I have learnt to never give up, just get up and keep trying. Communication is key to all relationships, there is no fast track to friends or family, its a slow burn that needs to be nurtured. The lack of true honest deep communication, the lack of multiple experiences separates me from our past, I can nothing about this loss now but I have to learn from it.
” Family faces are magic mirrors looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present, and future. ”
— Gail Lumet Buckley