The Longest Journey

Guest Blogger: Grandma

Editor’s Note: My mom watched over Dylan one night last week and I asked her if she wanted to write about her experiences. She said she would think about it and then she sent me a 50,000 word (this is a slight exaggeration) Magnus Opus. My mother lived when people actually read Victorian novels for fun (Victorian times) and tends to tell five-minute stories in twenty minutes.  “Your cousin, Leroy, his wife is Jane, they have the three kids with eleven toes, the ones who live in Kansas, you know, we visited them in the summer of…what summer was that Dave? No, it wasn’t. Aunt Martha was still alive then and she was there, so it couldn’t be then. Anyway, Leroy bought a pipe wrench.” Most of her stories are a combination of who is related to who and arguing with my father about some minor detail for so long that we all forget what she was talking about in the first place. The full text will be available when the BluRay is released. Now, with that said, I love my mom and her quirky storytelling. (Side note: Dylan was told yesterday that we could be sent home for a few days starting today or tomorrow. Here’s to hoping the next time you hear from me we will be home.)

This family portrait was a few years ago, I'm the cute one on the far right...my head is the same size but my body is a little bigger.

This family portrait was a few years ago, I’m the cute one on the far right…my head is the same size but my body is a little bigger.

Dylan has been the grandson that we have lived closest to as he and his sister Emma have grown up. When we first moved to Port Townsend, Dylan was about 8 months old. He was tired and pretty cranky and I was able to sit and rock with him. It was pure joy just to be holding this guy. It is a little difficult to do this now but on occasion he will say, “Grandma will you rub my back?” And what’s a Grandma to do but rub his back! As he grew, he loved to be outside and had this great imagination. We have a huge split boulder in our backyard. When Dylan was younger he would grab some tall grasses and go “feed the dinosaur.” I don’t believe he was ever outside without a stick or something in his hand. He seemed to be in perpetual motion. He knew where the toys were kept in the closet or would get out a game to play. I think his favorite were the Army Men that used to be his Dad’s. He enjoyed going up the trail to explore the neighbor’s bird sanctuary. His favorite thing to eat was a tuna fish sandwich and plenty of fruit. As he grew older, he helped chop and carry wood, go with Grandpa to get a loads of dirt and dump wheelbarrow loads in the garden area. He was not afraid of hard work and sure helped us out. We made many trips to see him play basketball in Sequim. I had thought my bench sitting had stopped with my own 4 but when it comes to grandchildren, there is nothing more encouraging than to be there. There have been some down times as well for him. He might come over and would soon be asleep on our sofa. I am not sure he is fed mashed potatoes at home so when he comes I always make twice the amount needed for he will eat it all. I have been so proud of his writing-especially when he was published in the TIDEPOOLS 2012 Issue Art Lit and Music publication pg. 63 from Peninsula College when he was in High School. I know that at some point Dylan will again be contributing his own unique style in his creative endeavors. It has been great fun to see him develop into the individual he is and to be able to share in his journey in a very small way.

So when I was asked to be the designated Dylan sitter, I felt I could check out the staff and care of another hospital. I was not disappointed. I did not sleep much, that was not due to the fact that it was uncomfortable but that Dylan was doing his best to keep me up all night. I think he thought, well we will see how well Grandma does with this business of being in the hospital. The hospital bed was one where when you sit down it moves and changes and when you change positions it moves again. I felt like I was on a raft in gentle water inflating and deflating. So every time I got up, it changed. I had expected to fall asleep but soon Dylan was up to the bathroom. You see, his kidneys are back again to functioning and they were pushing fluids per the port to get his system down to normal levels. I know that he was up every hour to hour and a half all night long. That takes energy and he was just a real trooper. I don’t think he had to call me to wake me but he would start to get out of bed and I would hear him and I was soon up too. He needed to put on his slippers, unplug the IV pole, walk a few feet, open the door and push the IV pole into the bathroom, close the door and pee. This was the routine all night long.

Morning came with clouds covering Mt. Rainer. I had hoped that one of the benefits would be a clear view of the majestic peak that thrills me whenever I see it. No dice. Dylan was sleeping so I told the nurse Tanya that I was going down for breakfast. I took my book and read while I ate scrambled eggs, bacon, and drank some decaf. It was very quiet in the place—some of the maintenance staff were there and a lonely security guard. I read and ate. went back up to the room and was very surprised to find Jon and Cheryl back by 8:30AM. I was greeted by Jon saying, “Dylan said you passed muster.”

I am indeed as impressed with how my son, Jon and daughter in law Cheryl, granddaughter Emma are responding to this difficult adventure that has drastically changed their life in a few short moments time. Even in this God’s Blessings flow.

14 replies »

  1. I love that she ‘passed muster’. I didn’t know Dylan has already been published. I need to see that article/story. I love how you described how she used to tell stories Jon, too funny. She sounds like a great Mom and Great Grandmother. I like her description of ‘adventure’, very positive, and how ‘Gods Blessings flow’, so true. Stay strong You All. Lurve lurve lurve Auntie Anita. Wish I could write half as well as your Clan. It missed my boat or mold. lol.

    • Anita, when you are up this way, I know Dylan has a copy and I am sure his parents have one. If not, I would let you read it. Jon is also published in that one.

  2. Grandma again: Regarding the picture above–taken in Spring of 1968, Chicago Days, when we needed to have a family picture for job resumes. I could have my “beehive” hair done and it would stay all week. Hard to imagine now.

  3. Don’t think I have ever seen that cute family picture….or the beehive “do”. Am enjoying all the contributions to the blog. Know this is a difficult journey for all involved in varying degrees…..many prayers and good vibes going out to you all.
    Lynne

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