Doctor, Doctor, Doctor, The News Is What?

If you read this blog with any consistency than you know that I often begin by saying that I should be asleep and it is true, I should be asleep. I am not 25 anymore and the morning is going to hurt, or more likely 39.5 pounds of 4 year-old boy jumping on me is going to be harder than it used to be.

One of the greatest blessings of my life is having had so many grandparents for so many years. Unlike so many of my friends my grandparents have been there to witness the biggest events in my life. But nothing goes on forever and I find myself staring off into space, lost in memory.

Two of the three remaining grandparents are in failing health. They are both over 90 and old age is catching up with them. The end of the race is in the future, but the exact finish line is not quite in view.

The doctors tell us that they are doing all they can to continue to ensure a solid quality of life and that they cannot tell us when they will pass on but that we should expect it. I find it infuriating to hear stuff like this. I recognize that they are not clarivoyant and that given the circumstances they cannot say when or give any sort of guarantee and I am not sure that I would want it.

I am happy with their medical care. I don’t think that their providers are incompetent or stupid, but it is hard to hear these things and frustrating to know that there is very little that I can do to help.

I don’t have the education, background or training to keep up with them. I can research and ask questions and I have. I can point, poke, prod and cajole them to my heart’s delight but it doesn’t matter. And it makes me sad.

I started lifting weights more seriously again. I can feel the strength returning to my body. I am starting to venture back into the heavier weights. On the dumbbell press I can pound out three sets of 7 with a weight of 80 pounds in both arms. I can curl just under a 100 pounds and on the lat pull I can pull just short of 200 pounds.

It is not quite where I was, but it is getting there and I feel so freaking strong. I really do. I feel like I can pick up car and throw it. But all this strength is useless, meaningless and insignificant. I can’t share it with them, I can’t give my grandmother a new heart, I can’t give my grandfather legs. I can’t fix them. They have done so much for me and I can’t give back the way I want to and it just hurts.

So I have tried to be nothing but positive, to focus on the time that we have and not hold my breath. It is pointless to wallow and I will not. I’ll use this blog to voice my frustrations and concerns. I’ll scream in cyberspace and then go to my garage to work it out on the heavy bag.

And as we all prepare for the moment when my grandparents transition to wherever they go, to the moment when they go from being real people to memories of real people I have a plan.

We have started to film them, asked them to tell their stories on camera so that my children and the generations to come can look back and know a little something about who their relatives were.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not mourning the living, just trying to accept the news. It is what it is and I’ll be fine. Death is a part of life and overall I am very happy because they are still here. But it is hard to be told to prepare yourself.

Should I be freaked out that Knockin on Heaven’s Door just began playing on my iTunes.

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  1. PsychoToddler May 31, 2005 at 2:12 pm

    The best thing you can do is take your kids to visit them whenever you can.

  2. Jack's Shack May 31, 2005 at 5:58 am


    What do I want? I want what so many other people want, more quality time with the people I love.

    I want to show my children why I love my grandparents by giving them time with them.

    I want my grandparents to enjoy a high quality of life and to have time to see things that they could not have imagined in their 20s.

    I am thankful for all of the time I have had and I realize that I am lucky, but I don’t consider myself greedy in asking for more time, I don’t feel bad in saying that they deserve more and better and that I wish that I could give it to them.

    And I don’t feel bad saying that this is frustrating at times.

    I understand so much, but not enough, not nearly enough and it is hard.

    I have a lot to be thankful for, but I won’t apologize for asking for more of the quality things that life brings.

  3. PsychoToddler May 31, 2005 at 2:40 am

    What exactly is it that you want Jack? I don’t know anything about their medical conditions, but the fact that they are over 90 and still have their wits about them is very much in their favor. You don’t have to die just because you get old. There has to be some medical issue that causes it. Making it to 90 means that you have what the doctors refer to as “good protoplasm”, meaning that something G-d gave you worked out pretty well. But no one lives forever.

    I don’t have any grandparents. My dad is over eighty and I’ve watched him fade away for the past 10 years, and all my medical education has counted for squat in terms of my ability to do anything about it. Whenever I say goodbye to him, I have the feeling that there won’t be another hello.

    Count your blessings and enjoy your time with your grandparents.

  4. Stephen (aka Q) May 29, 2005 at 6:45 pm

    I think filming them as they share their memories is a great idea.

  5. Stacey May 29, 2005 at 1:14 pm

    It is difficult because you can never really “prepare” for something such as death.

    The only thing you can really do is what you are doing…trying to ensure that the end of their days are spent as comfortably as possible, spending lots of time with them and recording their lives so that they may live on.

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