Fathers Day

This Father's Day I was struck by the realization that there is a very good chance that my youngst two children will have no first hand memory of their Grandfather. This has been the most crushing thought so far for me. I have always known it will become unbearably devastating as time goes by, but the realization that it will be up to me to create the image their Grampa has knocked me flat.

When my oldest was born my Dad was overjoyed. He held her constantly and was her babysitter when I went back to work after she turned one. When she was very small,once a week Dad would pick her and I up to go shopping while my husband had our car for work. It was no big secret that he offered to do this so he could hold baby and walk up and down the isles. Dad HATES shopping stores, and we would always (at his insistance) go to the biggest one in town. He would say "take your time" and "do you need anything else?". These were not things Stu Hall ever would say in the Superstore under any circumstances other then getting drooled on and cooed at by his sweet baby grand-daughter. I wish she could remember that, but by her 4th birthday he had changed so much, and now that she's 7 he is in a wheelchair and almost never speeks.

I first knew something was up with Dad, other than depression, when my second child (my son) was born. Dad showed very little intrest in him and was even timid (odd for a father of 6). Also, he would not hold him. Shortly after being born my son became ill and was in the hospital for a week. When we got home Dad still wouldn't hold him, but I passed this ofr, as many people seemed to think he was quite fragile, and my mind was on baby and his health needs (totally fine now and will be 3 next month) By the time my son was 6 months old, Dad was diagnosed PSP. A year and a half later we had another little girl.

I am trying to compile as many memories as I can of of Dad and wrghting them down so that my kids will know the wonderfull man that their Grandfather is, not just what this damn PSP has left of him.

3 Replies

oldestnewest
  • I can empathise with this totally. My mum seemed so disinterested after my daughter was born in 2008 and she had been the most doting grandmother with my son before that. She was diagnosed in 2010 but looking back PSP changed her way before then. My daughter is now 4 and she knows nana is ill and that she must be gentle with her but she will never know her as she was - vibrant and loving. That said, she is so wonderful with my mum, strokes her, puts make-up on for her, helps her by fetching things and I know that they love each other. I am taking loads of photos of them together and we can show them when they are older.

  • This must be so hard to come to terms with :-( My children were all adults before Mum became sick so they have many happy memories of their Nan. On the flip side of that they find it very hard to see her as she is now :-(

    Love to both of you xxxxx

  • oh, nelvana - you have just painted my nightmare too, so vividly! i have 3 young kids - 6, 4 and 1. i wish my oldest could have got to at least 10 say before this horrible illness took the granda she once knew from her. she has a few memories, but my 4 year old has no memory really other than dad now stuck in his chair, a glazed expression on his face. he reaches out for them still, but can't, and it kills me seeing it. they just accept him in his wheelchair now. my baby will have no memory of his granda at all. he was always so fun with them - couldn't do enough for them, and 6 months after my second was born, bam, my world comes crashing down with this terrible diagnosis. she was going to be his world...they probably all still are, but who knows - he cannot show any emotion now at all. how do i possibly relate to them what a fantastic granda they are missing out on?!!!

    i'd love to chat if you were up for it anytime.

    love and best wishes to all,

    fran x

You may also like...