Monday, lake time

Grandma and I are enjoying the lake, sipping coffee, talking baseball, and sharing memories of our time up here. I am writing, but my mind is somewhere else; our thoughts are with grandpa and we’ll hop on over to visit him this morning.

O and I drove back to the lake Saturday afternoon. She won her game and she was elated, but she was even more excited about getting back to the lake. I can’t blame her. Except for a bit of rain as we drove out of town, the drive was dry and clear. I could see thunderheads off to the east, or west, or north, but we missed them all.

thunderheads loom ahead in the distance, the road disappears behind us, and we get closer to the cottage every minute

As soon as we pulled into the driveway and unloaded, W and O were in the lake and having a great time. Ivy was content to sit in the yard and watch as they played in the water. O took the kayak out and the hooked it to a buoy and played together in the water. They swam and played until they tired of the water and came in, dripping.

While the two swam and played, I caught up with grandma, as much as I could and waited for momma to come home from Traverse City. While O and I were home, Grandpa had become ill and as sometimes happens with older folks he needed more help than we could provide at home and he ended up in the hospital.

I have known grandpa, and grandma, for almost 28 years. I could not have picked better in-laws. But, over the last several years, grandpa and grandma have been slowed by – time. They are both in their eighties and have been married sixty-five years this summer and time is catching up with them, as it will with all of us.It was especially obvious this summer that time had caught grandpa and he was struggling to keep up. It is tough to see them struggle to keep up.

We spent most of Sunday in Traverse City at the hospital visiting grandpa and being with him. My contribution was entertainment and I distracted grandpa by getting the NASCAR race tuned in for him and alerting him to the Sunday night baseball game – Reds vs. Cardinals. For a few moments, he could root for his favorite driver, Tony Stewart, or his hometown team, the Reds, and put the hospital from from his mind.

I tried to keep W and O entertained while momma, Jill – momma’s sister, and grandma conferred. We visited the cafeteria, we went to the seventh floor for the view, and we visited downtown Traverse City. O visited the toy store – Toy Harbor, W visited a hip clothing store – M-22, and I checked out the bookstore.  It was a distraction, but my thoughts were not far from grandpa and grandma and I couldn’t help but think back to my time visiting my dad’s hospital room, three years before. Though the two situations are entirely different – grandpa is sick, but awake and my dad was sick and unconscious and in hospice care; just being in hospital conjured up the memory.

Today we’ll visit grandpa and I’ll think of ways to keep the kids focused and entertained so Beth, Jill, and grandma can focus on grandpa. Maybe I’ll get them on the lake swimming, fishing, or boating; or even maybe all three. However, whatever we do, the day will count making a difference for grandpa and grandma. Making the Days Count and making difference, just slowing down.

What do YOU do to keep kids distracted when a crisis occurs?

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