I have learned a couple of things about staying with the extremely aged: 1. No one so much as bats an eye if you announce in the middle of the afternoon that you’re going to go take a nap. 2. If you buy applesauce and pudding for the baby, you’d better keep an eye on it.
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OK, first of all, why don’t “hour” and “tour” rhyme? It never occurred to me before just now, but shouldn’t they rhyme?
Totally not the point of this post, though.
On September 15th, I loaded my 1 1/2 year old and myself, along with a stroller, a diaper bag, a purse, a sling, and one checked bag onto an airplane with a fair amount of dread in my heart. My darling daughter doesn’t even like to be in a carseat, so you can imagine how thrilled I was at the prospect of holding her on my lap for hours on end.
Also, my husband, who has never traveled alone with a baby before, got us a better deal by scheduling us with a SIX HOUR layover in Denver. Awesome. Next up came Atlanta, where earlier torrential rains forced us to wait on the tarmak while my next fly rose into the sky without me and my hungry, none-too-happy toddler. There were more problems and issues, and we ended up with a room at the local Doubletree with plans to fly out the next morning.
We did finally make it to our destination, something like 28 hours after actually leaving home. Florida is hot and sticky, and my mom came to the airport to pick us up without a car seat. Again with the awesome.
We’ve been working to get into the swing of things with my mom and my 95-year-old grandmother and 98-year-old grandfather ever since. It definitely encourages you to take care of your health while you can.
This is where this post is supposed to get poignant, but we’ll see if I can make my point without just bumming you out.
Yesterday morning my grandfather had a massive heart attack. The paramedics did what they could, but if he were to wake up from it (which is very unlikely), he would probably have severe brain damage from lack of oxygen. He has been removed from life support and Grandma is waiting at the hospital with him while he slips away from this life.
Of course, I’m very sad about all of this. My grandfather is a wonderful man who has treated me better than just about any other in my life. Still, the existence he was living up to this point was not a good one. I now understand how people can think “It’s for the best” at a time like this.
I have many thoughts, including that one; but the one I wanted to share with you is that I am so, so, so glad to have the profession I do. With my laptop, cell phone, and my mom’s Internet connection, I can still work. In fact, I can rebook my return ticket and stay longer to help my grandma through this time. After all, having the cutest, sweetest, smartest baby in the world toddling around your house can do a lot to lift your spirits and reflect on the beauty of life.
Being a freelancer not only allowed me to be here to see my grandfather one last time, but it will allow me to stay as long as I’m needed. I love that.