Tuesday, June 7, 2011

101 and still kicking it...

So, what's happening in your world?  I'm just back from seeing my 101 year old Granpa Jake down in RI.  I've told you about him before.  My worst fear happened today.  He didn't know who I or my sister was, although he promised me recently that he would never forget me.  I hadn't seen him since before my Mom died in November, and though he knew me then, he didn't know me today.  

It was strange talking with him today, because his facts and memories about everyone were mixed up.  He would mention one of my cousins, but give them the wrong name and match them with the wrong state, or the wrong occupation, or perhaps the wrong parent.  It's as if all the facts are a big jumble in his head.  I know, what should I expect from a 101 year old?!

He knew that someone was with him, though, and asked us to stay a little longer.  Unfortunately he doesn't get a lot of visitors, so I think he just liked the company.  That made me both happy and sad for him.  I hope he is not too lonely.  He has given all of us the chance to lead our own lives, and I hope he knows how much he is loved.  I brought a voice recorder and left it on for the entire time we visited.  One thing I wish I had more of is my Mom's voice.  So, I wanted to capture Jake "on tape" to be able to listen to always.  I'll load it soon, and maybe share a bit with you all here. I kept trying to ask him questions that would prompt him to tell a story.  There are so many things we don't know about his life.  My sister and I were really sad to leave him, but he told us over and over again that he was happy in this facility.  As we were leaving I said "I love you Granpa", and he said, as always, "I love all my family."  Maybe somewhere in there he knew that we were related.  I hope so.  I want him to know that his family cares about him.

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