Today I was with my grandpa, trying to get an answer from his doctors about what’s up with his respiratory system. His breathing has been increasingly getting less clear, and more wheezy. He’s tired more often than not, even with just doing the little things. He loves to get exercise in, and take walks to visit his friends in the neighborhood, as well as do the things like go shopping at the grocery store. But alas, he’s 87, and things just aren’t the way they used to be for him, even as little as ten years ago.
He’s so happy to have me going on my Birthright trip, but I’m feeling like I’m a little uneasy; that if I go, I may regret not being around for him, especially if an emergency arises. He knows I have a traveler’s spirit – I got it from him. In fact, he and I used to take two trips a year for many years, cruises and land travels both to get the traveling bug out of us till the next year rolled around. I remember as a little girl sitting atop the bunk in the RV we had, looking out and feeling so wonderful to be hitting the road with my grandpa. Those memories, just like the idea of family (even though mine is atypical and quite small), mean a great deal to me.
But now, he’s a lot slower, his breathing seems to get worse, no matter how much I pray for him, and he himself mentions he wants to go places still “if only [he] weren’t so slow”. I know he says he’s been seeing a lot of commercials about Israel, and if he had a little more umph, he’d surely be making a trip this year, too. He’s lived in Greenland for years, been to so many countries, cities, states… I just wish he, too, could still see more of the world.
I guess I’m feeling uneasy because I’m the one that he depends on to take to the hospital if anything happens. I’m all he has. And vice-versa. And the only reason why I’m not off traveling the world with a backpack and my spirit, is because I feel obligated to make sure he knows he can count on me. But why do I also feel like I have been given this gift because I’ve earned it? …Because I haven’t been selfishly going hither and thither, though to wander is my nature? I suppose the right thing to do is not clear to me. I just wish that I could maybe find someone who knows him well enough to just call him while I’m away to say hi and make sure all is well. That would be a blessing. But all the people I’d ask to do that are too busy or out of the country. I suppose the reality is setting in that I am in this world with just my grandpa, and if ever anything were to happen to him, then it’s just me. That’s sad, but in strength I walk, and in faith I hope that he’ll be OK, and he’ll have a long life past 100. Above all, I hope and hope that if ever anytime he really needs me, I’ll be here at the right time, no matter what travels I am on or coming from. So far, I’ve always had impeccable timing in life, especially when it comes to being in sync with grandpa and his need of my presence to help him get through the day. *sigh* Maybe, just maybe, this feeling I’m feeling of reglect (regret and neglect) today will come to pass… ironically these feelings fall on the day of my Chai post, so possibly it’s a reminder that life must go on, because no matter what, it always does.