Saturday, May 5, 2012

St. George

Splitting the drive into two days was an easy decision and thanks to the kindness of the Moore family, it was possible. Before we invaded their home in Henderson, Nevada; we made a stop in St. George to visit my Grandpa Dan.

Due to the time spent living away in South Carolina and the limitations of his health, it’s been a long time since my Grandpa and I have seen each other.In addition to his physical health, Grandpa’s mental state is not what it once was either. In fact, I’m not sure he fully understood who I was. Even so, I am so happy we were able to spend a few hours with him.

Eliza was quite overwhelmed as she took in the scene of his care center. Most of her interactions with the elderly involve visits with Grandma Popcorn and we all know how sharp she is. Timid, she hid most of the time behind my chair. I was puzzled, but tried to my best to understand.Unlike his sister, Henry wanted to be near him. Curious, he sat contently on my lap during most of our exchange.

“Hello, Henry.” My Grandpa said after I introduced them. Hearing his familiar, “Hello” provided the strongest connection to him our entire visit. There was the Grandpa I remembered.

As a side note, Andrew and I were able to attend a fireside this past Friday. Matt Townsend, a professional communication and relationship expert, was the speaker. Aside from being the Mormon version of Steve Carell (he is hilarious), his message was truly inspiring. As Matt discussed the different types of love, as described by the Greeks, he made his way to the most important of the four, which essentially is charity.

“When you’re 90,” he said, “you’ll be lucky if you can find your teeth.” As awesome as the yearning, passionate phase of love is, according to him, it’s the love that doesn’t last. The love that we ought to strive for is Charity.

As I watched the way my Grandpa’s wife Katie attended to him, I was deeply touched. She demonstrated so perfectly the charitable way in which spouses ought to treat each other. There was patience when he was distressed and laughter when he said something slightly off color. There was almost a maternal sense of care as I saw how pleased she was to see him eat as much as he did at his meal. It was hard not to feel emotional as I watched her, watch him. Katie has always been so pleasant and this visit was no exception.
 Most of the conversation with my Grandpa revolved around Kenny (my Dad.) He asked a few times where he was, if my Mother was with him, (etc.) and agreed that next time I visit, my Dad should come too. As we took pictures, he reached for my hand. He kept it for a while and quietly listened as I prattled on about the weather, among other things.
He is in good hands. The care he is receiving and the staff that I met seem top notch. I left St. George with the hope that my Dad and I are able to make that visit back to see him soon. 

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