If we sat down for coffee I'd tell you about a phone call I got a couple weeks ago that made me sad. I was getting ready to take some photos for a blog post when my mom called. We hadn't caught up in a while and she wanted to let me know the latest news about my grandpa. (My grandpa has progressive supranuclear palsy and lives in a nursing home.)
She told me he has been choking lately. I instantly think back to my trip to Michigan when she told me choking was one of the causes of death in people with this disease. She tells me that hospice has been called in, and that.....we need to get prepared.
"Six months," she says. "It could be less than that."
She tells me she read my entire Etsy interview to him when she last visited the nursing home. And the first thing my grandpa said in response was "She was always smart."
Hearing my mom tell me this brings on tears. I struggle to keep my voice calm. She reminds me that he always asks about me.
At this point in telling you this, over our coffees, I have to break from our conversation (and in typing this). There's those tears again. I excuse myself to blow my nose a bajillion times. Then return, take a sip of coffee, and continue.
I tell you how it breaks my heart that my grandpa has to hear about my life through an internet article. I worry that I will feel guilty when he's gone for not being there for his last years. Then I admit to myself that the guilt is already there.
I hope that he is proud of me for pursuing my dreams. And I hope he knows that I feel so lucky to have been the first grandchild of such an special man.