My Dad and Grandma

(My father and grandmother)

Last Friday my aunt e-mailed me in the night and told me that my dad was not well and was still in the hospital. My dad has COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) with an extra touch of Bronchiectasis. Around Christmas, he and my grandmother caught the Flu and both of them developed lung infections. My grandmother died as a result and my dad ended up in the hospital, was released and came down with another flu as he left the hospital only to be readmitted the next day. He then spent 3 days in the ICU and then was in isolation and by friday when I got the news he was over the flu but had gained nearly 10 kilo with retained water in his body including his lungs. With the extra water in his body his medications to help get rid of water were upped but the balance was off and his kidneys were failing because they couldn’t keep up with then made his heart work harder. So lungs, kidneys and heart are all making his life quite hard at the moment and with my grandmother’s death and the very likely probability that he would not be strong enough to go to my grandmother’s funeral, his moral was down and it was not looking good.

So, on Friday, I decided to ask Simon to come home and take over here while I headed to the Thoracic Institute in Montreal to see my dad. I got there just as he was being brought out of isolation and being transferred to another room so I was able to help the staff bring his things over and help him place his things where he wanted them. I spent the afternoon with him and tried to bring his morale back up a bit and was taken aback at how weak he actually is at the moment.

I left the hospital but was not ready to head home just yet so I called a friend last-minute and asked her if she wanted to grab supper at a great all-you-can-eat Sushi restaurant. Luckily she jumped at the offer and we had a great evening.

On Saturday, it was my grandmother’s funeral. It was probably the first time in about 20 years that all of my cousins and I were in the same place at the same time. Sad that it is a funeral that brings us together. The service was nice and the priest was quite good and though there was a definite religious tone, he made a point to make it relevant for us non-believers. Tons of memories poured out of my brain while he talked about her. One of my favourites is when I had just met her again when I was about 10 and I would spend a week with her and my dad at her cabin. On rainy days she would cut up old clothes and she would make tiny clothes for my toys all by hand with no pattern. Maybe that is where my passion for sewing comes from.

Because my dad was not there, I took a picture of my grandmother before they closed the casket so that I could show him when I went and brought his some things… she was actually very beautiful and looked so much younger but she wasn’t the grandmother I remember, she was too perfect.

After the service I headed to the restaurant with the family. I sat next to my brother and talked with my cousins and it was strange as we have never done such a thing as adults. It was nice that my family was actually together, though sad because it was grandmothers wish that we would do it, however, we only did it after she was no longer there.

After the restaurant, I brought my aunt home and picked up some things for my father to bring to him at the hospital. Because of the funeral, his day had been packed with guests so he was feeling better of the moral front, but still sick and weak. I didn’t have long to stay, and I knew he was tired so I wondered what I could do for him before I left. I know that he hates being in a room of four and to make matters worse they had placed him in a corner away from the window. The bed by the window had been occupied the day before when he was transferred but it was now free. So I found the head nurse and explained politely and with a big smile and with almost no hesitation she asked for transfer and I helped move all of his belongings and them him to a bed next to the window. He will even be able to see the fireworks that there often are in the old port. Afterwards, I gave out some “guardian angel” pins that the funeral home had given me to bring to my father. It was a small gesture to say thank you but it was well received.

I left the hospital after he was settled in and headed out for supper with another friend. This time I went to ChuChai… one of my Montreal favourites and then went out for coffee to finish the evening.

On Sunday, I was tired. My days were not too busy, but they were emotionally draining.

My dad is not soon to be done his hospital stay. He as least another two weeks depending on how he recovers. I’ll go back on Saturday after my workshops and see him again and hopefully he will be feeling better…

I am looking forward to my next 2 day weekend that I can use just for us.

We need it.