Wednesday, June 23, 2010

No More Green Bananas

When I talked about my family coming in to town last week, I mentioned how it was for the passing of my Paternal Grandmother. Her memorial service was supposed to be this past Saturday. I say "supposed to be", because it wasn't. My family flew out here from Milwaukee and Florida and there was no farewell to Grandma to be had. The reason was because, unfortunately, Thursday afternoon my Grandfather ended up in the hospital with kidney failure. The good news is, he made it to the hospital in time. He is still being treated and for the time being is doing okay. Since it was my Grandpa's wife we were honoring, it was understandable that we wanted to be there for it. There was no way he was going to be out of the hospital by Saturday so he decided he wanted to postpone the service.

Sooooo, yeah. My (almost) entire family, came out here for nothing. Well, it wasn't REALLY for nothing. We did get to spend time together and have a great time. I'm glad they came, but feel bad that the reason they were specifically here didn't happen. It was nobody's fault though. Instead of going to Grandma's Memorial on Saturday, we decided to go visit Grandpa in the hospital. Five kids and all!!

The day before we were going to the hospital I told Sonya how Grandpa got sick, and instead of going to Grandma's Memorial, we were going to visit Grandpa. She didn't really ask too many questions at that point. On Saturday morning, Sonya was sitting in her closet putting her shoes on. I was sitting on her bed helping Lana get dressed. Sonya had a sad look on her face and then she says to me,

"Mommy? Is Great Grandpa going to die too?"

Oh boy. I wasn't prepared for that one. When I decided to have kids, I was ready to change diapers, calm a crying baby, and kiss boo-boos. I didn't think ahead to someday having to explain death. Why does nobody tell you these things?! The only thing worse is this points to the fact that, sooner rather than later, I'll have to explain about getting a period and...(deep breath) S-E-X. Ah, the joys of parenting!

After taking a minute to gather my thoughts I said, "Oh Sonya. No, Great Grandpa isn't going to die today, but everybody does dies sometime." I didn't want to lie to the kid. My Grandfather IS 83. As much as I love him and would love to have him around for a lot longer, time is just not on his side anymore. He even jokes that he won't buy green bananas anymore.

She kind of nodded her head like she understood, but still looked very sad.

"Come over here," I told her motioning in my direction. When she got to me I gave her a hug and told her again, "Great Grandpa is okay right now. He just had to go to the hospital because he got sick, but he's not going to die right now, okay sweetie?

"K," she said back.

"Go finish getting your shoes on so we can go, " I told her and off she went. She seemed to trust in my answer.

I'm not positive I handled that correctly. Who the hell can tell when you're doing the right parenting job or if you're screwing your kids up for life? I guess I'll find out when she gets old enough for therapy. In the meantime, I THINK I did okay. I didn't lie to her and tell her he was going to be around forever, but I didn't scare her into thinking everyone was dying tomorrow.

I will say it caught me a little off guard as well, because she made me see that Grandpa is near the end of his life. Although I already knew this logically, I guess emotionally she made me realize it more. He is my last grandparent, and even though I didn't see him much as I kid, I've really gotten to know him in the past 14 years I've lived here in California. He's a really sweet man who married Andy and I and has been around to get to know my three girls. He comes over to visit at least once a month and is always around for a birthday party or a holiday. He has done his best in the past few years to make up for what he missed with us as kids. He also has some interesting stories about when he was a young man before he and Grandma were married. I always find that kind of history fascinating.
So, I hope he recovers quickly and gets to go home soon. I really want all three of my girls to remember their Great Grandpa. At least to some extent. Plus, I'm not quite done listening to all those stories of "the old days", and if I had to guess Grandpa is not quite done telling them. I mean 83 isn't THAT old.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think you did the right thing K, Sonya is a smart, well adjusted young girl. Death isn't easy so being honest and talking about it is the best thing for both of you.

My heart sank when I read what happened to Grandpa. Glad to hear he is doing well. Please send him my love!