My Worst Fear
I was talking with my fiance, Matt, earlier tonight about my Papa. To start off I’m worried about his mental health. Papa hasn’t really been an outspoken kind of guy but loves to meet people and make small talk. For as long as I can remember we really never had a full-length conversation nor has he ever let me in. I do try to ask him questions about how he is feeling, what he’d like for dinner, etc but it’s usually short replies. For all my life I’ve known him to be this way and it never concerned me until now.
About a week ago, out of the blue, he asks me, “If we can go to South Carolina, to see my sisters one more time.” It stuck me kind of odd because I’ve never met his sisters, they have never visited and I’ve never even seen a call from them or even heard him speak of them. I spoke Gma about this and she said he’s always saying those kinds of things. Now Gma is very opinionated, bossy and over-bearing at times, well all the time to be honest. It’s her way or no way, her beliefs are the right beliefs, etc. She doesn’t and hasn’t treated my Papa very well for many, many years. But he has stuck by her side, took her to her appointments (she doesn’t drive and has many illnesses), did her shopping, picked up her medicine, even worked two times when my mom was younger to support her and his family but yet she never has anything nice to say about him. So what she does tell me about him, I am hesitate to believe. Even trying to defend him or act as the middle man, she gets upset and tries even harder to make me believe he’s worthless, a liar, good for nothing, etc (and yes, she does say those exact things). Back to Papa, I mention it to my mom but she isn’t too concerned about it and blows it off like everything else relating to them, but she leaves me with this “I don’t think it’s safe.”
Personally, I take it as a “last request” and if I really was the ballsy type, I’d go rent a RV, pack us up and go BUT since I am just his granddaughter I don’t know how his children would feel about it. I’m not irresponsible in any way and I have fairly good judgement especially when it comes to their health, etc. So, why am I so scared to fulfill my grandfathers last wish?
Friday my “Uncle” comes to visit before he gets on his fourth cruise this year and the unthinkable happens. Papa asks him “When is the last time you spoke to David?” Mind you, this is David my Papa is talking to you. We are all shocked. My Gma starts in with, “This is David.” Then David chimes in with, “Who are you talking about, Dad? Are you talking about Marty?” (Marty is my dad.) Papa says, “No!”, now angry, “I’m talking about David! My son!” Gma tells Papa, “This is David, your son.” There is a pause from everyone.
Then Papa comes back with, “I don’t know. I’m confused.” Granted, we all live with him but he hasn’t forgotten my name nor has he called me any other name, he calls on Matt all day and he is always calling for my son, Hadyn. I didn’t think anything of it. Because Papa has always been a certain kind of special to me; meaning, he doesn’t act like everyone else, like maybe he doesn’t have a mental handicap or maybe he is just kind of slow. Nonetheless, he is my Papa and in my eyes nothing is wrong with him but with what happened, I am starting to get concerned.
Tonight Matt tells me that a couple of days ago, he was sitting at the dining room table while Papa was watching TV in his recliner. Papa yells for Matt. Matt responds to him. Papa tells him to come look at the alligator on TV. Now, Matt is looking at the TV at the same time my Papa says this and there’s no alligator on the TV screen. Matt blows it off and responds with, “Yeah, that’s a big gator.” A few minutes later, Papa yells for Matt again, tells him to look at the crawfish on TV. Once again no crawfish. I ask Matt what was on the TV, he says it was showing a family doing stuff, conversing in their house. That there was absolutely no kind of alligators or crawfish on TV.
Once Matt tells me this, I am definitely worried. Thankfully, he has a doctor’s appointment tomorrow afternoon. Keep your fingers crossed that it’s just my overactive imagination and nothing is wrong with him. I can’t handle another thing; I’m not over the whole recent Diabetes diagnosis, which was a little over a month ago.
- The Beginning (caregiving.com)
- Collateral Damage and Returning to Calm Waters (caregiving.com)
- A New Day (caregiving.com)
- Why End-of-Life Conversations Matter (caregiving.com)
- Making Peace With The Clock (caregiving.com)
- How Do You Talk to Your Kids About End of Life? (caregiving.com)
- Tips for Avoiding the Family Feud (caregiving.com)
- Co-Caregiving: Developing into a Team (caregiving.com)