Friday, January 26, 2007

93 Years Young

This is my Grandfather. This is my Mom's father. This is the only grandfather I ever had as a child (my dad's father died before I was born). I think he's pretty cool.

The weekend of the 20th found me driving south to Massachusetts with my Mom riding shotgun. Oy vay! I love my Mom, but she is a nervous rider. She'd prefer to drive, but I much prefer to do that so I won. We followed my older sister down. She brought her truck but had her son and her Great Dane in it so we opted to have our car to allow for more flexibility with driving around once we were there.

My Grandfather has been living on his own up until a few months ago. This was pretty remarkable given his age & that he lives in a split level home. It's an odd home too in that you have to climb a large flight of stairs to enter it & then only the living room & kitchen are on that floor. The bedrooms & bathrooms are another short flight up the stairs. I have one aunt who lives within 20 minutes of him & is retired. Grandpa soon became her "job." She went there every day & she helped him to appointments & did whatever necessary to help him out.

During the month of December he decided it was time & he wanted to move in to an assisted living facility. So that was accomplished in short order. He seemed to like it okay but actually seemed lonely. Most residents were mobile & moved around a lot during the day.

Right around Christmas he became very ill with a "flu" like illness & actually ended up in the hospital very dehydrated. Unfortunately, my aunt & uncle also got it & were very sick over New Year's. At this point it was decided that he should go to a rehab facility (i.e. nursing home floor) to recover & work more on his balance. He is able to walk but looses his balance easily & has to use a cane now. Once there, Grandpa decided he liked it & didn't want to leave. As he tells it, he's the only one who can walk around so he can come & go as he pleases - which he likes - but he is checked on daily & the nurses are all friendly - which he also likes!

For his birthday (which was actually the 22nd), we had a party for him at his facility. There is a room you can reserve for just such events. We had a pretty good turnout of relations & friends. Grandpa did tire easily & ended up foregoing opening his gifts. However, what can you really get a 93 year old man anyway? (I got him an insulated zip-up sweatshirt.) He loved having us all there though.

Here is a photo of my Mom & her siblings. It's been about six years (since my grandmother died) that they have all been together. My mom is seated to the far left, her older sister is in the middle, her younger sister is on the right & their brother is standing behind them. My uncle lives in upstate New York, my Mom in Maine, & my two aunts live in Massachusetts.

We weren't sure how many people were coming & where everyone was going to sleep, so my Mom & I opted to stay at a hotel. The Clarion is a new hotel & one of the only nice ones in the town we were in. This is the view from our room. We did have to pay an extra $20 to "upgrade" for the view (since Expedia doesn't allow for this room when doing reservations). We also had to kind of lean against the wall & look down the side of the building, but it was still nice to see & hear the ocean. Yes, that is a ship on the horizon. I'm pretty sure it was a large container ship. However, this was one of those VERY cold weekends. The parking was sort of across the street & it was COLD walking back & forth. But we had a gas fireplace in our room & a whirlpool tub....ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!

It was really great to see relatives I hadn't for a while. My sister & I are going back next month. My grandfather's house will either have to be sold to help pay for his expenses or his next door neighbor wants to rent it while they have a house built. Either way it will need to be cleaned out so we have volunteered to do it in hopes of saving as many memories as we can.


  1. Lisa - how precious that you were able to be at your grandfather's 93rd birthday. Loved the photos.

  2. Lisa, such a poignant story. How special to have your grandfather here to bless your entire family. Your love for your grandfather shines throughout your post.

    I cracked up at the visual I had after reading what you needed to do to see your $$ view!

  3. What a nice story! I also have one grandparent still living and she turned 94 last summer. Did you take lots of pictures?


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