Our Journey

Thank heaven for little girls

Last week I babysat my granddaughters while their dad was in England and their mom busy with her school conferences. My goal as a parent was to always keep my kids busy so they would take long naps and I could get some work done. I can’t sit still and like to stay busy, so it just works out.

On this day of babysitting, my goal to keep my granddaughters busy. We began the day at YoYo Donuts because grandma badly needed a donut. The girls knew immediately what donut they wanted. One had a pumpkin donut and the other a yellow one! Each ate half of their donut and were soon running circles around the donut shop. When Charlotte started to jog in place shaking her arms and head, I knew it was time to go the park.

We drove to Lone Lake, one of my favorite parks, just a block or two from the donut shop. I used to bring Barry there when he was first diagnosed with FTD. We had a few picnics at the park because I wanted to get him out of the house. But Barry was not happy to be away from his TV and waffles back then. I soon gave up trying to get him out.

The girls were wild and couldn’t wait to explore the park, slides and swings. We hiked and looked for fish in the lake. We even found some cool mushrooms. I tried to sit on a bench and watch the girls run and climb but they yelled, “Grandma catch me, Grandma push me on the swing.” As I crawled slowly through a tiny tunnel on my 63-year- old knees, I thought how lucky I am.

When the girls started to tire, it was time to go see Grandpa Barry. Charlotte asked, “Are we seeing the Grandpa in the bed?” Wow that made me feel sad. That is all they know about this Grandpa. Part of me doesn’t want to bring them there. I want to protect them from it all. I don’t want them to see their Grandpa lying in a bed with diapers on. But that is not fair to Barry. I have no idea what he thinks when he sees these two beautiful little girls but if he gets any joy from them at all, it is worth bringing them.
hearts
The girls got their second wind when we arrived at Barry’s room. They ran down the hall to play the piano. They wanted a cup of water from the dispenser, multiple cups. When they got tired of that, they ran down the hall until they came face-to- face with a very old woman who had full and wide grey hair and one eye. She wanted to hold them and said in a very loud voice with her arms stretched out, “Come here! Come here!” Suddenly I had two, quiet little girls who wanted to be held. We went back to Barry’s room and I had them sit quietly in two chairs while I gave Barry some water. They watched quietly until Charlotte got up and walked over to rub Barry’s arm. She did it a couple of times. That was huge connection for a four-year- old to make. I saw Barry looking closely at her. I hope he felt a little love from her and, most of all, that he knows he is not alone and is loved.

We soon had to leave because Lilly was tired and both girls were hungry. After lunch, I put them to bed. They both slept a long time and so did I.

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12 comments on “Our Journey
  1. Your love is strong. Very strong.

  2. Nancy Glades says:

    Molly’s daughter was a baby when Rain was dying. He asked me once, when I was holding her, “Who is that baby?” But, he got a lot of peace from looking at her, even sleeping with her once on the couch. Good for you for bringing the girls to Barry! A lesson for them on loving the “Grandpa in bed”, and a comfort to him to have them there, I think.

  3. Nancy Glades says:

    Molly’s daughter was a baby when Rain was dying. He asked me once, when I was holding her, “Who is that baby?” But, he got a lot of peace from looking at her, even sleeping with her once on the couch. Good for you for bringing the girls to Barry! A lesson for them on loving the “Grandpa in bed”, and a comfort to him to have them there, I think. Love your doodle too!

  4. claudine coughlin says:

    Dear Nancy, These two little girls are so lucky to have you as their grandma. I took care of Alison, now 15 from when she was 2 and Emily, now 11 from when she was born. I love every minute of being with them. Times and things change as they get older and now I am not a babysitter, but a driver from here to there and back again. I still love being with them and sharing in all their activities. Enjoy every experience you have with them. They are also very luck to have such a wonderfully talented grandma also. Take care! Love Claudine

  5. Nancy Paxson says:

    Very sweet! You are a wonderful grandma as well as wife!

  6. Tim Moodie says:

    Damn it, you made me cry again. This will be a wonderful story in your memoirs.

  7. Bette says:

    Crawling on 63 year old knees while playing with grandchildren is an exercise in gratitude. I sing “The Old Gray Mare, She Ain’t What She Usta Be” and laugh my head off. Thank you for reminding us that we are so very lucky, and for bringing the life of the little girls to Grandpa.

  8. Nina Crittenden says:

    This is a beautiful post, Nancy! xoxo

  9. Christine bekiares says:

    You are a great inspiration to so many of us. Life is not perfect, or as my daughter said, “this did not go as planned!” Our strength is in our ability to adapt and deal gracefully with the situation at hand. You have taught me that. Lesson learned!

  10. Vito says:

    Wonderful!

  11. Pam Schultz says:

    Sweet story. Grandchildren are the best. Thanks for sharing.

  12. D Ringham says:

    You are doing the very best you can with an uncontrollable situation. The girls are learning about life, and how to love unconditionally and care for family. An extremely important trait. He is important to you and years from now they will remember this and hear stories of grandpa and know there was love.

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