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.