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Vulnerable Words

Do you remember the first time that you realized an adult you looked up to was just as vulnerable as you?

I remember it was sometime around my sophomore year in high school (or was it seventh grade…I have lots of memories but I am horrible with exact dates. Ask anyone close to me about my ability to remember birth dates.)

I was sitting in the chair closest to the hallway closet. Grandma had just called my Aunt Di after she had gotten off of work.

On the phone, with Aunt Di I heard her say, “Your Dad is acting funny….”

I don’t remember the rest of her words, I was pretty flipping worried about my Grandpa. There were way too many thoughts that were racing through my head and I wasn’t ready to process what most of them meant. It wasn’t until my sister Alyssa came over and started crying about how she can’t imagine not having Grandma or Grandpa around that, someone, had spoken the words that I refused to say out loud.

Aunt Di came over (still wearing her nurse’s uniform) and she looked at Grandpa and said she was taking him to the Emergency room. (I should mention that she has worked in a Nursing Home setting for a long time, so she is well aware of the signs of a stroke).

My Grandpa didn’t want to go but he had this sad worried look in his eyes that knew better. He got up to walk to the hallway closet and grab his coat.

He looked at my Aunt and said, “Diane, I’m scared.”
vulnerable words

I will never forget hearing him speak those words. They break my heart and still bring tears to my eyes. I think about it often. At the time, I didn’t realize how much it would affect me. My naïve self, decided that it was way too soon for anything to happen to my Grandparents. I think it may have even been the moment that I realized, “Holy crap. They are pretty like much my parents. No one loses their parents this early. Do they?” I mean, yes, they were the age of Grandparents, but they were tough and they had so much more life to live.

I could not fathom a world without them. It just did not seem right and was beyond unfair. I still have a hard time believing they are not here.

I am thankful my Aunt brought Grandpa to the ER because he was in the process of having a stroke. Thankfully, Grandpa would live many more healthy years and created many more memories with us.

However, after that stroke, we started to see a somewhat different man. Still strong in my eyes, but in a different way. A man that had served in the Korean War, now sat in his recliner and got teary-eyed and emotional often. Mostly, in reference to his days left on the earth, the loss of his favorite cat and those of his friends and family and even the loss of the freedom that gave him the ability to come and go as he pleased.

I still remember him sitting in his blue recliner, with the hand towel draped over the top cushion because Grandma hated how his pomade would stain her furniture. Still makes me giggle. He would sit there and practice with his squishy ball

grandma, grandpa, love, rocks, grandparents

One of my favorite pics with them.

or stretchy cord to try to strengthen his left side (the side that was affected by the stroke).

Man do I miss him.

I sometimes have a hard time believing that my kids just might look at me the way I looked at my Grandparents. It’s an honor, really. They meant the world to me (still do) and they could do no wrong. Nope, they weren’t perfect but they were my stability. My rocks.

Nah. My kids know I’m a hot mess mom, just struggling through. There’s no way they think of me like that. I am only partially kidding.

Although, Tristan writing that he admires his Mom on a school paper, may have convinced me different. Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa for helping me to become that person for my kids.

Silly pic of Grandpa. Reminds me of him so much. Eating his apple and saying, “Hey!” while not expecting a picture.


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