I am leaving tomorrow for a trip home to LA. Between visiting cousins, friends, new babies, and family, my trips home tend to whiz by in a blur of too-short-check-ins.
With all of the wonderful (albeit short) visits I make while I’m home, the most important ones I make are to my grandfather. Papa is my last living grandparent. He is 92 years old and was always the grandparent to whom I felt the closest. We’ve had a connection since I was a newborn. There are pictures of us being absolutely delighted by one another while I was still in diapers. We have a mutual-adoration society of two. He vacillates between calling me “troublemaker” and “darling” but always with a smile on his face. I respond to either with glee. Yet for the first time in my life, I am nervous about seeing him.
Papa was driving himself until about six months ago. He still lives on his own, exercises every day, and is fiercely independent. But my mom says he has been fading lately, unable to remember basic happenings, like who visited yesterday, and long-ago things—like which of his sisters was married to whom. I know that will be hard to see.
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