It's snowing again! We have had quite a record winter here in Portland.....we live at the bottom of a big hill....so I have prepared this evening and parked my car at the top, along with the rest of the neighborhood.
My dad has an amazing relationship with my grandparents. He has been much more than a son in law to them. He's always willing to help out in any way possible, giving tirelessly to everyone- and has always had a special place in his life for my grandparents. His own parents died when he was in his 30's. Now as my grandfather ages, (he's 86) and my dad's condition takes a turn for the worse, they have found a very symbiotic interdependence on one another, a relationship that brings them both meaning and purpose. My dad hasn't worked a job in two years, and has really become the main companion to my grandfather, much due to the fact that he has so much free time. My "nampa" as I call him lives in a retirement setting- and we moved my grandmother into a nursing a year and a half ago. He is incredibly devoted and visits her every day- often my dad and he go together, making an outing of it. One picks up the other, whomever has access to a car that day, and they carpool over to the nursing home, have lunch together, and stay and visit. As the year has progressed I have noticed my grandfather's increasing interest in involving my dad in all his doctor's appointments, and often my dad is the only family rep available to accompany my grandfather to the doctor. It is at times difficult to have information relayed, because in my dad's brain it doesn't all stay in order of how it was said, so things get lost in translation. But one thing that is more clear than ever is my dad's love and devotion to his "dad", and tonight was one of those instances.
Conversation went something like this: at 3:00 this afternoon.
"Ring Ring" Me: Hello?
Dad: Hi Kimber, it's dad. Dad fell and he can't get up. And I don't have a car to get him.
me: Is he hurt?
Dad: I don't know, he just can't get up from the floor- didn't ask if he was hurt.
Me: Well, I'll call him, I can't go over and lift him up if he is hurt. I'll call him and call you back.
It continued until I convinced my grandfather to push his lifeline button and the ambulance arrived. Four hours later we are all home, my nampa with a broken rib. In the hospital we determined it might be good if my grandfather wasn't alone tonight in his apartment, and as he adamantly refuses to "burden" anyone by staying with them, my dad elected to go spend the night with him. My mom remembered that my dad's medications were at home and she would need to get them for him.
What amazes me about my dad is that he had thought ahead to just simply put them in his pocket just in case he might need to spend the night over at Nampa's tonight. And the funny part...my dad has taken pictures his whole life, thousands and thousands of pictures, and now what does he use for his daily pill containers? Film containers. So everyone is all tucked in and safe, it is white and quiet outside, and regardless of the white and quiet in my father's brain, the most important parts, the ones that control the heart and dedication and love, are firing on all squads, as he lays reverently in the bed next to my grandfather, ready to be at service at the mere whisper of my grandfather.