My grandpa had a stroke on Friday.
My grandpa ("Dapa" - typical kid-can't-pronounce-things story) is the most beautiful man I know. He's selfless and caring. He got shot in both knees in WWII and never complains. He loves our country. And when I'm at school with my liberal friends, dating a British-Canadian who makes me feel like an ignorant American, attempting to compensate for what America hasn't provided for me in terms of "wordliness" -- even then, I think of my grandpa and I can say that I am proud to be an American because of him. He's everything an American should be (even if he did vote for G-dub).
I seem to have an odd way of dealing with his stroke, which is to think that there's nothing I can do to help him. Actually, I'm pretty sure that's true, but according to my mother, this is a bratty and ungrateful approach to his current state. I came up from the Bay Area (thanks, Dad, for driving me), brought my Bible, and sat with my hand around my grandpa's for a while. I put both of my small hands around one of his big hands and held on tight.
Every once in a while, I squeezed harder. Sometimes twice, quickly, right in a row -- just to see if he'd do it back. Sometimes I almost thought he did. But I'm pretty sure it was just his body's involuntary reaction to the IV drip.
There's always the thought, though, when someone has retreated into his body, that you're the one -- maybe it will magically be you! -- who is able to bring him out of it. Maybe you're the one who says the right thing, who holds his hand the right way, whom he loved enough to snap out of his state and come jumping back to life better than before because you're just that special.
However, at least with this instance, I'm fairly certain the world doesn't -- and won't -- work like that. I'm his granddaughter -- not his wife, and not his daughter. I'm one of very, very many grandchildren, and though I know he loved me like a daughter, I'm pretty sure there's nothing I can do to bring him out of his post-stroke coma.
I opened my Bible a few times to random pages to see if I'd uncover some inspiration. I uncovered something about war, which at the time didn't seem really relevant. Something about taking a note to someone. I gave the Bible to my mom, who stayed with him all night, and went back to the house with my dad.
My mom told me to stay here all weekend, yelled at me, even, and all I can think is, "I can't sleep when I'm at home. There's nothing I can do for him. I want to go back now." Back to my routine, back to my gym membership, back to my sneakers and my comfort zone. If you're familiar with my sleep issues, cool. If you're not, no worries, they're not that important right now.
I will say this, though. I've been eating insane clean these last few weeks and have been toying with new vegetarian/vegan/raw recipes. And I don't think that's going to change, especially now that I have an extra reason to hate little fucked up clots that kill people and take away their robust language skills. Did I mention my grandpa speaks a bunch of languages? He does. You know that BA/BS you have? That PhD? That thing you paid a lot of money for that "no one can take away from you" because you have it in your brain?
Yeah, it can be taken away from you. Your brain can die. Gets more likely the more crap you eat.
So, there. That's one reason to eat healthy.