We tend to hoard James' vacation - in part because we just don't have the TIME for him to take it and partly because we enjoy using it at Christmas time to stay at home and spend our days in pajamas with coffee and the kids, or catching up on little projects around the house. This year I decided to use a few days to go visit my grandparents. We don't live near family and it's pretty difficult for me to get away without dragging the kiddos with me.
I did some work while I was there, and also took some time out to take some pictures of my mom (who met up with me) with her parents.
You may remember they both broke their hips within a week of each other, and that was the beginning of the decision to move permanently into Assisted Living. It's been a real trial for them...I am grateful that they can afford a good place (save your pennies, folks!). Grateful that my mom can visit them as frequently as she does (although I know it's not easy for her to with a business of her own to run). And grateful that they have surviving family members in nearby Kentucky who have been working tirelessly to help them get their affairs in order.
From what I understand, they have good days and bad days. Both of them have struggled with bouts of depression while they adjust to this loss of independence. And both of them are now entering stages of dimentia. It's harder to converse with them now, and that alone is saddening. I wanted to capture a mostly-lucid visit with them so I brought my camera along. It was a little harder than I thought - since they spend a lot of their time sitting and not doing much. ;) But we had some fun moments, and I've learned to be just as grateful for moments as anything else.
(ps. You'd have to know Grandpa to appreciate the creamers and toilet paper and box of harmonicas...he has spares of all of them in his walker tote...)
Music credit: Ingrid Michaelson The Way I Am