Monday, May 19, 2014

PeePaw & John - 2008

In January of 2008 Bill and Doe, Bob's parents, moved in with us.  Bill had been caring for Doe alone for the past several years.  Doe had Dementia and could not be left alone.  There had been several nights that Bill had called Bob because Doe had gotten up in the middle of the night and fallen and he could not lift her on his own.

Bob and I discussed asking them to move in and this facilitated that.  So, Bill and Doe moved in.  Doe's health deteriorated quickly.  We hired a nurse to come in during the day to help Bill with the lifting and give him the opportunity to run his errands during the day.  Bob and I both work full-time so while we were available in the evening we were not home during the day.

Unfortunately, Doe did not live long after moving to our home.  She passed in April of that same year.  Bill was heart-broken.  He talked about going back home and we insisted that he stay with us.  We just didn't feel that he would live long if he went home alone to morn.

John was two years old at the time.  Bill, PeePaw, became his best friend.  The two of them did everything together!  PeePaw taught John how to garden.  The two of them did all the yard work together I've never seen a two year old work the way John would.  PeePaw would tell him how to do something and he would do it.  Their bond was amazing.  John gave PeePaw someone to live for and PeePaw taught John that a man should work hard and love his family.  I would never trade this experience.

Having Bill live with us was the best thing we could have done for our family.  All the kids adore him.  I love the sound of them running to his room.  Saturday mornings, as soon as he gets up all three of them want to "watch cartoons in PeePaw's room".

This same year,2008, we all took a vacation to Holden Beach.  This was a very emotional trip for Bill.  We stayed at the home of a family friend, the same house that Bill and Doe stayed at when they took their family vacations
.  Most of the time Bill sat on the beach alone but each day he would take John on a walk down the shoreline.  I imagine that he would tell John stories on their walks, both he and Bob like to tell stories about their past.  I don't know for sure, what I do know is the two of them have a bond that inseparable.

One evening when I was talking with Bill he told me "I never thought I would have this much joy at the end of my life.  The joy I am experiencing now in life, makes up for all the pain and sorrow I had to live through."  How wonderful to be part of that, to know that you have made a difference in the life of someone. 
When Bob and I talked about his parents moving in I never thought about what I would gain from having my father-in-law living with us.  I have been a witness to a love like I have never seen before.  A parent loves their children but I am certain after watching my children with their PeePaw that the love of a grandparent is so much more.  I look forward to the day I can experience the feeling of life continuing through someone connected to me.  

I'm grateful that PeePaw's health has been good enough for him "live" with us and be a part of our children's lives.  This is time they will always remember and hopefully tell stories of to their children.  This is what immortality is, life continuing through our children.  

This is one of my favorite pictures of PeePaw and his grandchildren.  When we were taking this picture last year my mom said "Bill gives us the best smiles when the kids are acting goofy, it really tickles him".  We did get the "good" shot, but I think this one is my favorite!  I hope we have many more years of smiles to share with PeePaw.

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