Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Angels and An Angel

The Angels
Eldra and her husband have always been sports fans. And they like all of the Southern California professional sports teams. Then sometime around 1984 one of their daughters dated one of the Angels, who helped them get season tickets, and they became super fans of the Angels.

Many of the summer nights of my childhood were spent with them at Angel's Stadium, watching the game and laughing at the California Chicken. It was magical.

Well it's baseball season and I am enjoying watching the games with her again. We don't have season tickets anymore, so now we sit in her room, her in her adjustable bed, me in Grampa's recliner. But it still feels magical. Bonding with my Grama over baseball.

My only sadness is that after the fall baseball season will be over and then what will we watch. I am thinking about just recording all the games and watching them again with her later. That's one of the beauties of Dementia. Enjoying things for the first time again.

An Angel
Today By the time lunch was over, I was exhausted. It seemed as if I had wiped peanut butter off of a million sticky fingers, and all I wanted was to go sit on the couch. But What I needed to do was rinse the dishes and straighten up the kitchen. So, I pushed myself and got up to the sink and started rinsing.

While I did I felt a friendly touch squeeze the back of my arm just above my elbow. Exactly the way I had seen my Grampa do so many times. It was gentle and comforting, and it felt like the feeling you get when you get chills, but concentrated in that one place on my arm. When I looked no one was there.

But I knew it was my Grampa, Eldra's husband. The one whom I had seen standing at this sink washing dishes a million times. And there he was comforting me.

"Hi Grampa."  I said, and then in another moment, it was gone.

As I sat reflecting on the occurrence, the house phone rang. The person on the other end called my by my grandmother's name, and asked to speak with my Grampa.

"I'm sorry he's not available." I said, "Can I take a message."
No thank you I'll call back another time." They said pleasantly.
"No uh.." I stammered "He will never be available."
The words shocked me. It has only been seven months since he passed away but it still feels fresh.
"OK, I will remove him from our list then, thank you."

And then I realized why he had really been there squeezing my arm just a moment before. To soften the blow of having to say those words to a total stranger. To let me know that even though he is gone, he is still very much here with me.

That's just like him, to be so caring, so reassuring, such a sweet Grampa. To be here for me on a tough day, through a rough moment, to help me feel a little closer to him.