Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Good Bye Papa

Today my grandfather died. He has not been well for quite a while and has suffered from Alzheimer’s for many years. He was almost 85 years old and came from a large French-Canadian family (16 living children). As I type this, I am sitting in the same chair he always sat in at every family dinner. He wasn't a perfect man but he was a very good grandfather to me – the only surviving grandchild. We have always lived very close to my grandparents and I would see him often. Whenever he came over I would race to sit on his lap – barely giving him enough time to sit down in most cases. On his lap I would remain for pretty much the duration of his visit.

I was able to be with him this morning for a couple hours before he died – and I’m glad I was. The ravages of time and sickness had taken its toll leaving a man almost unrecognizable to the one I grew up with. Other family members were there and sang, told stories, laughed and cried. I hope in some way the sound of our voices provided some comfort and peace.

One of my fondest memories is sitting in the cab of his truck that had a cassette player – this was a very exciting upgrade to the eight track player (wow – am I dating myself!). We put in a Dolly Parton tape and listened to the song “Apple Jack”. The volume was cranked right up (my grandfather was quite hard of hearing). Together we sang along at the top of our lungs and clapped and stomped our feet. I think we played it about five times in a row.

I’ll always regret that he never got to meet and know Bennett. But I guess that’s how life goes sometimes. Mostly, I’m just relieved that he is no longer suffering.

Good-bye Papa.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Botox

Before Christmas Bennett was assessed at the Botox clinic again. This time the doctor suggested three injections into the hamstrings of his right leg. I wasn't sold (I'm still not) but I decided to give it a try when the doctor told me that Botox would hopefully delay or prevent future orthopedic surgeries. This is a big deal - as someone who has had four orthopedic surgeries in three years, I know how hard it can be. It's painful and the recovery is long.

Bennett's appointment was this morning. I've been worried about it and was quite nervous. However, once again Bennett proved that he is a lot tougher than me. The entire process took less than five minutes. Bennett barely flinched and only got angry during the last injection. I think having four people holding him down on his belly was getting to him. He didn't shed a tear (and neither did I surprisingly) and was ready to give the doctor a high five on the way out. The doctor looked quite surprised because I think he expected Bennett to give him a high five - not me. Someone once said, "Either you're a high five kind a guy or you're not" - I guess I am....

Before we left Bennett was allowed to pick out a sticker and a toy. My big tough guy selected a Hanna Montana sticker and a package of four sparkly tiaras! Jim - a man who's obviously very comfortable with his own masculinity, carried Bennett through the waiting room with pride as his son clutched his new found treasures.

Once we got home we all had to take turns wearing the tiaras. Even Murphy got in on the fun. I have always wanted a tiara so I was very happy with Bennett's choice. So much so that I wore mine all afternoon. It does get in the way sometimes when bending over to do housework but other than that, I could get used to it.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Music Man

Bennett's preschool had a small graduation party last week. His physiotherapist brought her guitar and took the time at the end of the morning to let Bennett play. I think we might have a budding musician on our hands.

video

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Flashes From January

Just a few funny pictures from last month. Bennett decided that he could get in the tub all by himself when I had my back turned for a split second. The only problem is he didn't bother to take off his shirt or his diaper. I couldn't believe how heavy that diaper was - I think the water level in the tub went down about two inches!!

I don't really know why Bennett is making that face. Maybe it's his strike a pose face he uses when modelling snow pants.

What a difference three years make!!