Thursday, 21 October 2010


Please note, this blog isn't my usual light-hearted discussion of geeky stuff. It's one of my more personal, self-centered pieces. You have been warned.

Chances are, if you're reading this, you're doing so because you follow me on Twitter and clicked on a link I posted there. If that's the case, then there's also a fairly strong chance that you're aware that I didn't have the best start to the week. However, you will also have seen that I was determined that, as of Wednesday, my week was going to improve drastically.

It's strange, but I feel that it both has and hasn't. I'm feeling vaguely philosophical about things right now, and I'm both relieved and upset about other things.

So, yesterday morning I was awoken by a message from my dad informing me that my Grandma had suffered a nasty accident and was in hospital awaiting surgery. Unfortunately, since my Grandma is my Grandad's primary carer, this meant that my Grandad would have to go into a care home, at least temporarily. I didn't really have any more information yesterday, just a text from my Dad telling me that they were both as okay as can be expected, and he'd call me today.

I got the call today while I was at work, and I was terrified. I didn't want to answer it, didn't want to speak to Dad, just in case. But answer it I did. Thankfully, both my grandparents are okay. To a point. I mean, Grandma's had her whole hip replaced and needs to stay in hospital for a while, with a recovery period that can't be predicted. Grandad, meanwhile, has to stay in the home indefinitely. He doesn't want to be there, but we don't have a choice. Grandad's in his late eighties and... well, it's hard. When you speak to someone you care about, and they can't remember their own address or birthday... It's not something I've experienced before.

I'm worried about both my grandparents. There's a chance Grandma won't ever recover enough to be able to look after Grandad again, meaning... well, I don't really know what that means yet, and I'd rather not think about it. All I know is, for a while at least, they're both going to be on their own, and that's not a nice thought. At all. Oh, yes, they'll have family visitors, but my grandparents rely on each other in a way you only really see except in people of that generation any more. They won't admit that they need help (bit of a failing in my family, as my dad, my sister and I are all the same), but I want to give it to them. I hate that I'm so far away from them right now, and I feel awful for both of them.

But, you know what? It could've been a lot worse. I'm twenty-eight years old, and I still have all four of my grandparents. I know that's a rare thing, and I'm incredibly thankful for that. My dad's parents may be getting on, and yes, certainly right now, it's not easy, but they're still here. And my mum's parents are fit as fiddles. Fiddles which go down the gym and lift weights on a regular basis. I've had nearly three decades with them in my life, and that's awesome. I have some amazing memories of all my grandparents, and I love them all dearly.

I'm lucky, and I know it. I've never lost anyone close to me. Yes, I've known people who died, but never family or one of my close friends. We lost my pet cat, Verity, when I was fifteen, and you know, I still miss her. Incidentally, owning Verity convinced me that cats were intelligent creatures. Boy, Caliban blew that theory apart! But I digress. When the only creature you love that you've lost in close to three decades is your cat, well, yeah, I'm damn lucky.

So while, yes, I'm worried and upset for my grandparents, I'm also in a place right now where I'm feeling pretty good. I've been reminded that, as much as things sometimes suck, and as much as life may throw some shit at you, it can be far, far worse. I've got a lot I can be thankful for in my life, and no matter what happens, I always will do. The good stuff's happened. There's more to come, I'm sure, but whatever else, the past is always there.

Sometimes things suck. No doubt they will do again. But at the end of the day, I'm a very lucky man. I just need to try and remember that.

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