The Father Leans On The Son

Life never slows down. It doesn’t stop and it doesn’t wait. No matter how badly you try to hold on and no matter how desperately you beg for it to just give you a moment to catch your breath you are forced to accept a simple truth.

Life continues.

In the midst of your glory and in the middle of your pain life continues. The river just never stops flowing.


I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read,
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed,
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
-Percy Bysshe Shelley

My father just called to ask for my advice. It seems that my grandfather is not doing as well as he could be doing. When I was at their house last night we noticed that he seemed a little weaker and that something wasn’t quite right, but at his age it is to be expected. Some days are good and some are bad.

Anyway, my father called to consult with me regarding what to do about my grandfather. Do we take him into the hospital or do we wait and see what happens. In some respects it seems to be an easy decision, but like so many others there are some twists.

At his age it is quite likely that he’ll be admitted to the hospital. There are a couple of concerns. During the past 18 months he has been hospitalized about three times, once for a broken pelvis and twice for some other issues that his doc attributes to his old age.

Each stay leaves him disoriented. Each stay pushes him further into a place inside his head that we cannot follow. He grows less responsive to anyone besides my father and myself, and even that is at times sketchy. If you push him he will respond. He recognizes us, but sometimes the dates are screwed up and sometimes he thinks that I am my father, albeit a younger version.

Here are the other components currently involved in this decision. We haven’t been able to get in touch with his doc to discuss this, but have discussed this with my BIL the doctor. My BIL is in touch with my grandfather’s doc and familiar with his health, but at the same time he is not here to say yea or nay.

At the moment he says the decision is up to us.

The next ingredient in our recipe is that my parents are supposed to leave tomorrow for a weekend trip. If we could definitively say that this is a major health episode they would cancel it, but at the moment we can’t make that determination.

So now we are waiting for my grandfather’s doc to call and are hopeful that he’ll provide a little guidance. In the interim I am concerned. The fear that I wrote about still exists. I worry about my father and my grandfather.

I have instructed my father to go on this trip. I want him and my mother to get away. I am here to watch over my grandfather and if need be I’ll see that he is taken to the hospital. But I worry and wonder.

And now I am going to spend a little time with my son. My beautiful little boy who says that when dads have a bad day they should go to a place where dads can play with their sons because that always makes them feel better.

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  1. seawitch June 25, 2006 at 3:07 am

    I hope all is well with your grandfather. Great insight from your son.

  2. cruisin-mom June 23, 2006 at 2:31 pm

    Jack, we are certainly the sandwich generation. We care for our young children, as well as our parents. It is heartwrenching at times.

  3. blogRfactor June 23, 2006 at 2:18 am

    I hope your grandfather gets better – check out my blog – it should really lift your spirits

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