Do I need a white flag or something?
Enough is enough already. The past two weeks have been crazy, one of those times when 10,000 things come barreling down on me at once (and all my friends, too, it seems). Some of them are good things, some crappy, but all of them involve the kind of stress that wreaks havoc on my sleeping and eating habits (all my pants seem to be getting a little baggy, hmm).
To top it all off, I was IMing with my mother earlier this week and out of nowhere she says, "your grandpa was just diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer's and your aunt has cancer."
If you kind of did a double take and had a good loud "what!" there, you more-or-less had my reaction. Just to get this out of the way...over IM? For real? My mom and I have been having this argument since I left for college. She assumes I'm too busy and shouldn't be bothered with these kinds of "family affairs," like, I don't know, I'm stuck in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and my absence to answer the telephone will ignite nuclear war. Please. A few years ago she didn't tell me that my grandpa was having heart surgery until he was in the recovering room. Let me tell you, that did not go over well.
As for the news itself, to be fair, it's not quite as serious as it sounds. My aunt actually had an unrelated surgery a few months ago when they discovered the cancer in it's very early stages, so it looks like she's going to be just fine. They kept the news a secret for awhile because my cousin (her daughter) just had a baby.
And as for my grandpa, I'm afraid we've seen this coming for awhile. Over the past few years it seems to have slowly crept up, and we noticed how quickly he'd forget conversations we just had, or how he mixes up family member's names, etc. Though it's awful in any respect, it's also fair to say that my grandfather is not a spring chicken, and we're all lucky that he reached 86 before this really started to set in. And the doctor's also say that he still has awhile before it reaches its late stages, so that's good, too. Or at least, better than it could be.
I called him yesterday and actually got to speak to him for awhile, which was nice. He was a crew chief for Raytheon for most of his career and has pretty much lost his hearing from being around airplane engines for so long, which means we have a tough time trying to talk over the phone. I usually just speak to my grandma and she relays my hellos. Yesterday though, my grandma was out and he answered, and seemed to hear me just fine (though I do bellow into the receiver when I talk to him). Lest I make you think my grandpa is a very ailing man, he's actually one of the most fit people in America, at 86 or any age. Up until about a month ago, he rode 4-6 miles a day on his bike, and still walks a few miles everyday. Whenever I call I get detailed updates on the construction at the college track, heh.
Anyway, I had been procrastinating buying my plane ticket home for the winter, but I made a note to do that first thing this weekend.