Sunday, August 9, 2009

Family Reunion II: The Time Spent Together is What Matters Most!

You know that commercial we have.... "FAMILY. It's about...TIME!"
Family really is about making the time to be together. I think I mentioned in the earlier post that my Grandma is bed ridden. I think it's been of April. I couldn't believe it because when I was back home back in August she was up and about. She had some dementia and wasn't really sure who everyone was but health wise, she was strong and functioned ok. She did need supervision. So when I heard she was bed riddin I was shocked to say the least. My Uncle lives with her and takes care of her. He's with her pretty much 24/7. It must be hard on him because he gets very relief of getting out of the house.
My Grandma has 5 kids. all live within a 20 min radius. 3 live within a 3-5 mile radius. With too busy lives it appears she's not getting the loving care she could and should be getting from family. This breaks my heart. 1 mama can take care of 5 kids, yet 5 kids struggle to take care of 1 mama. Oh I have huge feelings of guilt living here in Utah while they're in Michigan. I have 2 cousins who go an visit and help now and then,when they can. For the most a whole, WE the family could be doing better.
I feel for my Uncle. His life is basically keeping track of and making sure Grandma is taken care of. I think Grandma knows and recognizes him best. He's got health issues of his own but for the most part I think being cooped up and not having decent conversation is what puts a toll on him.

My sister and I sent alot of time with Grandma. While we were there we fed her, changed her, dressed her bed sores and just spent time talking to her and listening to her talk. Grandma still has alot to say. Some of it... is just talk. Alot of on point. Most of it... HILARIOUS. I was able to get some video of her in her new state.
I appreciate the fact that she talks about the man standing in her room that the rest of us can't see. We're pretty sure it'a "Papa" her husband. He's been gone 35 years. A couple years ago she kept saying her Mama and Daddy were coming to get her. The next day her sister passed away. I have no doubts that she saw them coming. It just wasn't time for them to come and get her. I like that she knows her mama and daddy will be coming for her and she can see glimpses of them. There's been a couple times she would burst out in song. I've never heard my Grandma sing before. this summer and she filled the room with a rich soulful old school gospel melody. The hospital bed she's resigned to lifts and lowers and so do the head and feet. Each time they adjust the bed she's fearful she will fall out so she grabs onto the bars.
The ole girl is STRONG. S.T.R.O.N.G. Sometimes taking 2 of us to pry her hands loose from the bars so we can turn her over. And she is quick. Some of my favorite moments were her telling my sister to get out of her face, or threaten to break her arm or to leave her alone. AWESOME! My sister is a hospice care aide so she took care of alot of her hospice needs while we were there. It was very educational.

I relearned my education about how important it is to have family and be close to family. So much so that I'm seriously thinking of moving back home so I can enjoy them more than every other - every 5 or so years. I really enjoyed my time at home.
I think the most fun I had besides the reunion was hanging out with my Uncle. We really game him a bad rap back in the day. But he's turned out to be the man to step up. We took him with us all over so he could get out of the house. Sunday the night before we left he took my sister, cousin and myself to the cemetery so we can visit Papa's grave as well as some other family members. I think the best time I had was just before we were leaving for the night to head back to the hotel to get ready for our flight home... we did some last minute souvenir shopping. I had my sister go to the Local convenient gas station and stepped inside. I said a little prayer:

"Forgive me Lord for what I'm about to do."
And purchased $30 in instant lotto tickets! I took them back to the house and said... "Ok... we're all gonna split whatever we win." I knew my mom would not approve but being a grown woman she believes in agency. So I was shocked when she used her agency to play as well!
(Now Im not advocating gambling in the least bit. My immediate family are LDS so the cousins, uncles, aunts, grandparents and so forth are not. This was something they did quite often. I don't intend on it being a habit it was just one last bonding moment with our uncle.)

So the 4 of us sat in Grandma's living room floor and scratched off 30 lotto tickets. I think we won about $51.00. So we split that 4 ways. Most of the fun was trying to figure them out. It's not so easy as just scratch and win, there are rules and directions and instructions and such. WE needed a lotto tutor. Figuring them out was more fun than winning. We split the $$ 4 ways!!!

I didn't realize how much I miss the family. I intend on staying in touch with as many of them as I can. And I plan on being at the New York reunion in 2 years and every reunion after.

Family! It IS about TIME.

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