Earlier today my Grandpa was telling me that he made it to 93. When I asked him what year he was born he told me, “1930. Why, what year are we in?” After telling him we were in 2021, he was frustrated and said people were always taking years away from him. I told him that with the Lunar year the Chinese would start with 1 when you were born, so that would get him to at least 92.
Age ain’t nothing but a number. But to some people, it’s more of a range.
While I don’t think my grandpa was ever diagnosed with dementia, I would be surprised if he didn’t have some form or onset of it.
His dementia is an interesting thing. Interesting in that my grandpa will latch onto an idea in a fugue state and can not be convinced later what he previously thought was true, was really false. For example, the first night I saw him, my grandpa was convinced I was someone that helped around the house, and my son (who has long hair) was in actuality my daughter named Dash. He told me it was important that she learned English. The next morning at breakfast, my grandpa recognized Dash and me and said someone that worked for him also had a daughter named Dash. He said the name could work for both boys and girls. I was never able to get him to understand that it was me the previous night. The memory, though forged in confusion, made its way straight into the “solid fact” pile.
My grandparents have always lived in separate parts of Costa Rica until necessity made them move in together. Grandpa had told me a few weeks ago that he had divorced grandma but she keeps following him around. I had my doubts about this newly presented information though he insisted it was true repeatedly.
A few days after my arrival, grandpa started vomiting blood and had to be taken to the hospital.
For the longest time, my wish has been for my grandpa to have a change of heart. During his hospital stay, grandma would ask me to pray at dinner. Besides him getting well enough to come home, I would always ask for grandpa to have a change of heart. Once you get to be a 91 to 93-year-old man (depending on who you talk to) what is the most you can hope for?
Shortly after my last blog post, my grandpa came back from the hospital. We were all excited about his triumphant return. We all gathered around him and he told my cousin Nikki that he wanted to marry my grandma again, much to everyone’s surprise.
At first, I thought perhaps he was suffering some form of delirium. We left him to fall asleep and shuffled out of his room. I turned to everyone and said, “Well… I guess we have a wedding to plan!”
Later that night, I heard him telling my grandma, “Look… you love me, I love you. We’re getting married. That’s that.” It was the most romantic thing I had ever heard
This was really an answer to my prayers.
The next day he started convulsing and the staff called the ambulance. He was white as a ghost and his eyes had rolled back in his head. After spending so long in the hospital already, grandma and I really didn’t want to send him back. We thought if he was going to go, it should be with his loved ones. The ambulance driver said he would probably die if he stayed, but really thought they had a chance at the hospital, so we decided to let him go. He started to come around before we loaded him in the ambulance, and he mentioned that he still wanted to marry my grandma.
The hospital did release him later that day and we brought him back home.
He hasn’t mentioned wanting to get married lately, so he might be waiting until his daughters arrive in a few weeks or maybe he has gotten cold feet. But just seeing a little change of his heart towards my grandma was enough for me.