Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Slipping Away

Granddad has taken a turn for the worse.  At 94 he's done damn well. Incredibly well.  He's still completely compos mentis, lives in a retirement village in his own little flat, does the crossword, fiddles about on the stock exchange (he has a passion for buying and selling stock in mining companies or 'penny dreadfuls' as he calls them) and generally potters along.  But his body is giving up on him.  Yesterday he had a health crisis, and we are hoping and praying (or as close as my family ever comes to praying about anything - we're a bunch of heathens) that he comes through it and is able to live a dignified comfortable life after. 

He's the last of his generation in our family, he fought in WWII ffs, he's still got so much to tell us, so much to hand on.

Growing old is hell.  And I don't mean turning 40.  I mean getting to 85, getting to 90.  Having your address book you've had for fifty years and slowly crossing out every single person in it as they pass away.  Watching your partner die.  Seeing yourself no longer able to do the things you used to love.  Feeling 20 on the inside.

In my role as grandchild there isn't a lot I can contribute at this point - though I'll keep offering, mostly my job is to support my mother, whose selfless dedication to helping both her parents in the twilight of their lives brings me close to tears.  If nothing else, I will be there for her in the same way when its her turn.

A part of me is angry about it all, why does old age have to be so awful?  Why do people who were once strong and vibrant and had the world at their feet, have to endure this deterioration.  But most of me is worried and sad and hoping we're not facing the inevitable now, that its not now, that its later, that its distant and future. Just a few more months, maybe a couple more years if we are lucky, weeks perhaps, we'll just take more. 

Please.
2006

5 people love me:

Kirsty@Bonjour said...

It's a hard time, thinking of you and your fam. It sounds like you have some fantastic memories of a wonderful man, hopefully whomever you heathenprayed to will decide it's not his time just now. My grandma is 90, so I know how you're feeling. x x

Rachael Johns said...

Hugs Caitlyn but what a beautiful post. Families are so special when they look after each other. We lost my hubby's great-granny (at 101) last week and so we've been having lots of LIFE chats with the kids. Your granddad sounds and looks like an amazing man and I hope you have many more years with him. xox
Rach!

Teena said...

lots of huggs hunny xoxox

Sue, Joe and Michael Webber said...

DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


Thinking of you ((HUGS)) ♥

Sue, Joe and Michael Webber said...

DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


Thinking of you ((HUGS)) ♥