I am ashamed of myself, a little bit

This morning, my sister called me at the office @ 7 a.m.

She never calls me at the office that early, and I knew something must have happened.

She told me that our Granddad was a the hospital, that he had suffered a mild stroke last night that had impacted his language center in the brain and that he was unable to speak (besides a few simple words). He otherwise seems to be doing fine, he has no physical or mental impairments (my sister says he’s visibly upset that he cannot communicate), but he’ll be staying at the hospital for a few days and they’ll do some more tests.

My sister and I both feel kind of bad that we had been complaining a little bit that my Granddad had been calling us all the time. We understood that he was probably lonely and just wanted to talk for a short while, but with our own busy lives (my sister being pregnant, having a toddler and working full time) and the time difference for me, it just didn’t feel doable to talk to him every day.
Today I feel crushed, because I am 6000 miles away and the only way to communicate with him would be by phone and right now, I can’t even call him. And the doctors didn’t know as of today if his ability to talk can ever be fully restored. Irony much?

I mean, what if he doesn’t recover and won’t be able to communicate much anymore? What if he suffers another stroke? I still have so many questions to ask him; questions that for one reason or another I never asked when I had the opportunity.

My Granddad is 87 years old. He was doing pretty well. Considering his age, he had no mentionable health problems (besides some back pain stemming from lifelong false posture caused by a leg amputation in WWII).
He was still living on his own, in his own house and he was still driving his car (which, admittedly was something that my family was trying to prevent for quite some time now) and he seemed mentally and physically “fit” for his age, generally speaking.
I subconsciously knew that the possibility of something happening to him had to be expected at any given time. Still, when it happens over night like that, it leaves you behind in shock and disbelief.

my Grandad, I and my great-aunt
This is a picture of me and my granddad and great-aunt (my grandma’s sister).

  1. That is horrible. I know what you are feeling though.
    John’s Uncle Bill couldn’t make it to our scheduled dinner with him in San Jose. We just said that we will do it another time. Three weeks later he died.

    I hope your Grandpa is doing better soon.

  2. Oh no.
    I am so sorry San.
    I hope he will recover soon and be able to talk again!
    .-= Steffi´s last blog ..Totilas =-.

  3. Okay San, take a deep breath. You know Jack had a stroke last year, so I can relate.
    Hopefully, with therapy your granddad will be able to get some of his speech back. It may not be the quick speaking he once did, but he may speak, yet again.
    If not then don’t let that stop you from communicating with him. Write letters, send them to your Mom or Nina to bring to him. Ask him those questions and hopefully he can write down the answers for you.
    I have found that my grandparents wanted to share it all with me, so things wouldn’t be forgotten.
    And lastly, don’t feel guilty. You had no way of knowing, just like I didn’t either when Jack had his stroke.
    Sending you cyber hugs!!!!
    .-= Maribeth´s last blog ..Happy Thanksgiving =-.

  4. first of all i am sorry to hear about your granddad having a stroke and i am sure you and your family are worried and in shock. i remember how helpless and upset my great grandaunt was, when she had her first stroke and she couldn’t speak anymore. she never got it back, but she had a light version of alzheimers before, so it was impossible for them to get into therapy with her, since she wouldn’t remember. and i guess it is always like that, that whenever something happened, you wanted to do more , wanted to ask more. and i am sure u felt bad, because you weren’t able to communicate with your granddad because of your job and because of the time difference. but don’t feel bad about it. i am sure u would feel the same way, if you would live in grevenbroich and be near him. i think the feeling of i wanted to do more, is always there, hon. hang in there.

  5. I am so sorry San!!! I hope he will recover very soon. It is so sad when things like that happen all of a sudden and there is nothing you can do about and nothing you can do to be there by his side. Hugs!
    .-= Stefanie´s last blog ..The German Army Wife – Part 2. =-.

  6. so sorry hun, man I know exactly what you mean….sometimes it needs something like that to remind us all how fragile life is…but dont be ashamed of yourself, you are a great person and you do not need to be ashamed of anything! love ya, and I hope he feels better soon!!!

  7. I’m so sorry and I exactly know how you feel. I’m afraid for the call I’ll get one day….my lovely grandmom is 94 years old….I will call her right know! I hope your grandfather feels better soon!!!
    .-= Tanja´s last blog ..Dago ist da / Dago arrived =-.

  8. sending you another big, fat hug. i KNOW you will talk to him again, sweety! hang in there and we’ll talk on the weekend, okay? xoxoxo

    HDGDL <3
    .-= kim´s last blog ..surprise house warming =-.

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