Sunday, April 9

The Royal...Kieffers??

The plot:

2 brothers and a sister find themselves suddenly yanked from their three corners of the world to live together in their childhood home with their parents for the first time in over twenty years...because their father is dying. The last few days, Sarah and i have joked numerous times with my mom and dad about how we feel like we're living out our own less cinematic, less eventful, yet more personal (and just as comical and quirky) version of The Royal Tenenbaums.

A few days ago, it was discovered that my grandpa was bleeding internally and passing huge clots of blood. Transfusions began immediately. That night, grandpa told the doctors he didn't want any more tranfusions. Grandpa came home for hospice on Friday. Mom's brother, my uncle John, drove from Mission Viejo to help transport and settle him. The same night my uncle Steve flew in from New Mexico, and dad and John went to pick him up.

Grandpa, despite his nearly complete lack of strength, tried to live as normally as he could yesterday. He insisted on shaving himself, which took him nearly 45 minutes to do because it was so tiring for him. That's what he's doing in this picture, with my mom, and one of our wonderful caregivers next to him.
shaving
PRAISE THE LORD we got those hospital beds a month ago...i don't know what we'd do without them! The best thing about having John and Steve here is that we couldn't have moved grandpa around as much as we did yesterday without them. He's a huge mass of dead weight with no strength in his legs, so it takes about 3 men to help him move from the bed to the wheelchair, from the wheelchair to the living room recliner, from the recliner to the wheelchair to the living room chair by the fire...you get the picture. When i walked in the door yesterday evening after being out, grandpa was in the living room with his green armchair pulled up to the fire, covered in about 4 blankets, my mom sitting next to him feeding him his martini olives while he sipped his drink through a straw. He's coming down with pnemonia again, so he's coughing a lot. He's even colder than usual and has lost a lot of color as he loses blood. It's hard to watch...

Having mom's brothers living here has been one of the strangest experiences of my life...before theis weekend i'd never been around them for more than a few hours at a time, all at the same time! It's given us some real insight into what made my mom who she is...they share the same humor, the same memories, and they all look alike. It's so weird...
siblings
This is uncle John testing out my grandma's motor chair as mom and Steve look on.

serious manly discussion...
Dad John and Steve having a manly discussion of some sort, i'm sure...

My grandma has just been pleased as punch to have all her children and her husband home this weekend...as it was her 89th birthday. She's looking on everything as a blessing, and though she remains in complete denial about grandpa's declining health, it can be nice to always know she'll be smiling. Last night (after grandpa went to bed) we all ate together at the table (something we never ever do!), had home-roasted rotiserrie chickens, and just enjoyed each other. After dinner we brought out grandma's cake (of which she ate 2 pieces) and mom, John and Steve all helped her blow out her candles.
89th birthday!
It was a very ugly cake. The guys at the market didn't have the book from which i could choose the one i wanted so i had to describe to them what i wanted it to look like...and there it is. It was good, though... despite the over half-inch layer of frosting covering it...uuugh.

Today grandpa is staying in bed. For the first time in his life he can't feed himself...he's just not strong enough. But he has a gorgeous view out of the bedroom window of the beautiful day God gave us outside...if he can see it. A priest named Father Jim came from the parish today and gave my grandparents communion and the sacrament of the anointing...i'm not Catholic, as you know, but it was very beautiful and simple, calling for spiritual healing, and physical healing if the Lord wills it. The prayers were lovely, and i recited the Our Father with them for the first time since i went to Catholic school. As i walked Grandma into the living room after Father Jim left she said to me "I need to sit, and think about Christ, because I just recieved Him into my body and soul". It almost made me cry...

I really don't know how to feel right now. Even as i've been writing it has grown darker out, and it looks like it will rain. There has been a lot of weeping...and a lot of laughing...and it changes so abruptly. I feel out of touch with almost everything else. The events in my home have drained me so much...as i've sat here trying to write a paper on the Lysistrata for my history class it's been impossible to focus. I don't think i'm going to school tomorrow. i just don't know if i could handle it.

Yesterday i begged the Lord to make His purpose clear to me "Jesus i don't understand", i pleaded to the clouds. And He's answering me, little by little. Through other people, through my sister, my mother, through the books i read, through writing...and i can feel Peace. If only for a moment. and i know things will be glorious if only i will let them.
April 9th

1 comment:

JohnH985 said...

There's not a lot you can say after that. I will keep you in my thoughts and wish you the best.