Who are the Grands?

They are 90 and 93, and they live each day like there is no tomorrow. Because there may not be. Their minds are not what they used to be and their bodies are breaking down bit by bit, but inside those old minds and bodies they are the same independent-minded young people that forged their own way in this world and made a good life for themselves. This is both a blessing and a challenge, as you'll see in the posts below. Welcome to our journey!

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Friday, January 24, 2014

A Happy Reprieve

It's been a quiet week for the Grands. Grandpa's been in good spirits since he learned what is wrong with him. When he has bad days where his energy is low or when he wakes up throwing up, he takes it in stride. He knows these are symptoms of his cancer. Grandma has realized that it was a good idea to tell him. I took her to get her hair done Sunday for our family pictures and she talked to me a little bit about it on the way back. As we're driving home, she said, "Your grandpa can just accept things. I don't know how he does that. But he just accepts it." I knew what she was talking about. I think his acceptance has helped her cope more than anything else could have.

We did have our family pictures taken on Sunday. I had called a wonderful photography studio, Kane Photography of Rockford, and they came to Bickford House to take the pictures. Bickford's staff was wonderful, asking us if we needed anything and being open to the photographers moving stuff wherever they wanted. The photographers took their time and really paid attention to details. They watched foot placement, they straightened necklaces, and pushed hair out of faces. The photographer kept having to tell Grandma to put her chin down. She's in a habit of keeping her head up because she thinks she has a double chin. He was sweet and funny about it so that everyone was laughing. There's a pool table down there so the boys started a pool game when it wasn't their turn. What a blessed afternoon.

Grandpa has an interesting effect on men. Steve, my husband, went over to the Grands' apartment because their humidifier wasn't using any water. Grandma kept telling me about it, but I knew Steve would know what to do. When he went over, he fixed up the humidifier and talked to them for a while. When he came home, he said, "You know, Grandpa really likes me. I don't know why, but he does." It's because Steve is a man of integrity. He does what he says he's going to do. That's one of the most important things to my grandpa, Mr. Wallace Bean. Be a man of your word.

Another moment sticks out in my mind from this week. Yesterday I was talking to Grandma about how one of Lliam's friends doesn't have her driver's license yet. Grandma said, "You know how I learned to drive? My mother took me out in a field." I said, "Well, that explains a lot." I laughed and she gave me that look. THAT look. Grandpa was in his wheelchair, going to the bathroom and I told him what I'd said (he hadn't been listening). I said, "That explains why she never paid attention to the road." Grandpa laughed, too, but Grandma still didn't think it was funny. I told Grandpa, "I got her good." Grandpa wheeled past us and took my hand and Grandma's and gave them a little squeeze. "My girls," he said, "My two favorite girls. I love you both."

Grandpa doesn't say much, but what he says means a lot.

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