Friday, February 15, 2008

Mrs. Bess McSwain

I took Grandpa McSwain over to the driving range and we hit a bucket of balls. I'm not a golfer but he's a good teacher. He's been golfing for about 74 years. He started caddying during the depression when he was 13. I'm having some anxiety. It's a big responsibility having him here and he still asks to be taken to his home in Palm Springs. I have to distract him. Lucky his short term memory is gone. Soon he forgets that he wanted to go home and we have a snack or ice cream or he falls asleep sitting up in the chair. I guess I'll get used to him in a short while. Yesterday it snowed all day, but didn't stick on the ground so we couldn't go outside at all. We took him out for Valentine's Day last night and then to Dan's office. I think he enjoyed it, but his memory is very spotty. This morning he didn't remember that we went to Dan's office and then on our way to the driving range he mentioned it. It's bizarre. This piece is a large oil on stretched canvas to match the one of Mr. McSwain. 24" x 30" I told him I'm going to hang them in his room and he said " I'm not going to be here" and I said "oh" then he said " I keep on saying that and then everyone objects" so I said "we don't want you to go" - He said "I have things I have to do at home" - and this is how it goes. He is adorable though.


ZILLA said...

I'm so glad for "Gpa" that you're getting him out to hit golf balls at the range.

Hm. Are there any small jobs you could give him to make him feel useful, and that he's getting things done? I'm sure you've already thought of that. You're doing such a wonderful job letting him know he's wanted in your home.

What did he think of the paintings once they were hung in his room? It's such a nice touch, and a tribute to his wife & marriage :-)

Debi McSwain said...

The driving range is fun! We went again today.

Yes. I'm having him do many little jobs, but now his knee is hurting. I think I worked him too much. He sweeps the tack room and the breezeway down at the barn while I'm doing the horse chores and he vacuumed the living room and family and he swept the patio and front porch. Not all in the same day, but it's something to see him work. He's adorable.

I haven't hung the paintings in his room yet because they are still wet. They are sitting on two big easels in the family room. He goes to look at them often and really likes them. He's giving me a lot of inspiration for my art. You said something about it being a good thing in one of your comments and you were right. Dan has become so appealing the way he takes care of his Gpa.

fineartist said...

It's wonderful what you are doing, it's tough though too, not the having him there, though that's probably something to get used to, but the not being able to get him to understand that he probably wont be going home. Makes you wonder if it is kinder to play along or kinder to tell him the truth of the situation.

Then again if his short term is messing with him, how do you get him to remember? And you don't want to depress him. Life can be different can't it?

My dad recently died of lung cancer, recently I say, it was last July, but it still seems like today to me, I just can't get it out of my head.

I feel sort of like shit for not telling him that he was going to die. The entire time he was in the hospital he kept telling me, "Now don't let this worry you Snooks, I just have to get used to living with cancer." And the entire time I knew that he was going to die, and I didn't tell him, only smiled and told him that I wouldn't worry, and that I loved him.

He died the morning after I was able to take him to his home. He had been in the hospital for twenty one days, and the day after I took him home he died. It was like he was just waiting to get home to die.

People tell me not to feel guilty about not telling him the truth. They say he probably knew he was going to die, deep down, but I still feel like I probably should have told him, should have been honest, but I just don't know.

Debi McSwain said...

I'm so sorry about your dad. My mother in law died of lung cancer 15 months ago and my husband chose to tell her she was dying even though everyone else pretended that it wasn't so. He wanted her to have the chance to say her goodbyes to her many friends, etc. Everyone has to decide for themselves what to do.

We tell Gpa he can go home when his memory gets better and when his blood pressure goes down, but then an hour later he forgets everything. He just came to me with a photo of my grandparents and asked me who they were for about the 10th time in the last two weeks - God love him.

Painting a Day - Go!! Let's see what you have so far. Come on.