The Guiding Life

Every day is the last best day

IMG_3284My early life was guided much by my grandfather and grandmother, Mamaw and Papaw as I refer to them.  Papaw would play endless hours of pitch and catch or sneak me out to McDonalds to get a cheeseburger and maybe stop by and get a pack of baseball cards against my grandmother’s knowing. He never had but just a few dollars in his wallet and we would always spend most of it. He joked that Mamaw would not let him have anymore. I assume that many of us have these fond memories of a grandparent, parent or loved one in our life.  As we grow older these memories carry us through good and bad days and are something that can never be taken from us…

 

IMG_0001-2I still have these memories that provide comfort but as I walked into the care facility that my Grandmother had to put my Grandfather in this last Holiday season, it was evident that  we may not always have comfort in these memories. My grandfather has Alzheimer’s and doesn’t recognize much of anything anymore. It is sad to see him perk up as he looks at a picture of himself and my grandmother on their Harleys and for a split-second you see the joy start to flow into his face as if he was getting ready to remember his entire life. The words start to come out; I get excited to hear a story and see the life in him and then, stuttering, he can’t quite find it and his expression is blank once again.

 

Every day is his last best day. There is no getting better. He is in perfect health. He is losing the memories. Tomorrow, he will just be further from those memories.

 

The worst part is for my Grandmother who has done all the right things to keep my Grandfather as healthy and mindful as she can. We all hold on to the last bits of memories that we can get out of him and hope that he is happy in his mind.

 

Plane tickets were booked for Kyrgyzstan today. I am going with some of my favorite guests that I have become friends with over the years. They are rad to adventure with and the memories from this trip will be unforgettable. I hope…

 

Living in the moment has never been so important.  A life lesson that my grandfather has taught me.

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