How to Honor the Warrior: Maternal Grandpa's Journey with Alzheimers
We all have experienced a loss in our lives of loved ones. I would like to share a story of my Maternal Step Grandpa's journey with Alzheimers. He fought in two world wars and was a retired navyman. He kept his navy habits from his white tees and shined shoes and shaved and combed balding hair and using Aqua Velva. He loved his pipes and cigarettes and his favorite Vitamin was B for Beer. He was an Irish Nez Perce Indian man who cooked for the Navy and they called him "Stew" or "Cookie." He loved women and flirting with them and loved my Grandma a sexy and passionate woman who could dance, cook, sew and make him smile.
I was noticing over time when his adopted daughter/my aunty lived with him and she would tell me things and that's why she moved in to care for him. We were childhood friends my aunty but 6 months apart. We had polar opposites paths in life.
After a few phones calls with my aunt; she revealed he was forgetting where he lived at times when he went out for grocery shopping only 5 minutes away and at times the police had to intervene and help him out. He had several relatives live with him including his adopted daughter and kids in his home after Grandma passed. It still worried me and I would call him to ask how he was on a weekly basis. Later on; my aunty was no longer there and her children grew up and left one by one.
I knew something was wrong when he would ask me in mid sentence: "Who am I speaking to?" I would tell him in a calm and smiling toned voice." This is your Granddaughter, Donna from Georgia." During our telephone conversations; I would ask him when they last visited him? I would ask him when he ate last.
It was a stressful time in my life as my son was mysteriously afflicted every time he ate something and going to specialists and my daughter would not be able to move in short amounts of time during the day or speak and was going through that stress figuring out both issues. As well as my husband having mysterious lung issues and ended up in ER a few times. Going and setting appointments. Plus my son went to a special music industry school that required he be driven to and from school.
During this time; I felt my son had allergies and the doctor's too slow in the process. So I started eliminating common ingredients and food and watched how his digestive system responded. I learned and had to cook different meals for his lunch at school or dinner and for repairing his digestive system first then healing it. I had the task of cooking other foods to heal my husband's lungs and then figure out what foods it was.
There was much stress in property rights in another state we were brought into court to be judged by our skin color. My husband was stressed figuring out which lawyer to trust that didn't have connections to the city mayor judge. He learned that the first time. He also learned that in time; it wasn't about improving life in Rosa Parks district in housing but more fighting for their property rights by example.
As you can see this is a busy and stressful time for me. Eventually, the stress got to me and for the first time I caught a heart virus called 'pericarditis.' I had to manage resting and looking after all three and me.
During this time; I would call and write and send cards weekly and holidays. Sending my grandpa boxers, thermal, socks, towels, winter shirts and jeans and anything for the bathroom or kitchen. I would then send special treats while dealing with a rambunctious daughter.
It was when I got a call after attempts to tell the family my intuition said, "Grandpa needs to be taken care of by getting in their home asap." I felt it strongly and tried to tell all relatives that something wasn't right. At one point I had to send canned food and money as someone once again broke into his bank account.
I found that he allowed someone to move in that mentioned his favored adopted daughter's name and he was taking money out of the account. I also rallied my parents or brothers about this. Finally, they went to see him and someone had painted over the numbers on the wall to each person in the family near him as he used a black book for the numbers and that went missing. It was heartbreaking when the senators for VA there wouldn't answer my letters. He was a sailor and obnoxiously stubborn to deal with. He had a Irish Indian temper.
That night there was a social worker in his living room. She asked he each and everyone that came over's name and how were they each related. They all told her that they were relatives and we had numbers painted on the wall as he kept misplacing his telephone black book. She had been assigned to him. It was my doing because every time he said his money was gone from the bank; I urged him to tell the bank tellers so someone would notice if he looked dirty or disoriented. It worked and that's how she got there from my exasperation and frustration.
Unfortunately, the next day they returned because he insisted on staying into custody as ward of the state in a nursing home. It was an emotional ordeal and I advised about care programs since I cared for my husband's mother and my husband was a real estate person having to do with property issues. Eventually, my older brother and his wife were custodians after court appearances.
In the meantime, my older brother's wife was a Christian and not into the intuitive gifts we didn't share with her and her disapproving family. I learned to talk to his higher self, his basic self and lower self and what his heart really loved and wanted. Although, I didn't think much of his adopted daughter as trustworthy; if his heart and higher self wanted something; I would let her know what his normal habits were and his likes and dislikes. I want to emphasize as a relative and family member I had to put on the unbiased healer hat in his own best interests. He told me that he wanted the house left to the adopted daughter who was not there. I let them know that will be something to sort out with her. Eventually, they had to dig records of his date first diagnosed with Alzheimer's and it was way before his 2 wills surfaced that meant he wasn't of sound mind and body and my Brother makes the decisions on his property and care.
I would then talk to his soul about what he thought of this predicament; he wanted to hang on and after 8 months he asked me soulfully "What would you do if you were me?" I would tell him that everyone has this divine free will and choice and I could not interfere with God's contract with his soul. That he had to measure out how long he would be in a body that wouldn't move anymore or carry him and wait for his adopted daughter to come back or would he want to be free with God as he choose. When is what his decision would be. He said, "I will think about that." It is best to speak the higher self or soul because it doesn't have a disease to affect his mental capacity.
After a few months; consoling my mother, my sister-in-law; having to up date his adopted daughter in prison and my overseas brother in the military of constant updates to his health or progress. I wrote to him in nursing homes and continued to call as much as I could. Then my grandpa's soul was having a dilemma I felt. I then spoke to his higher self and he was deciding to stay waiting for his adopted daughter but then he realized she was a grown woman and he had done enough waiting. He decided he would join his Beloved Lusing (Grandma's nickname). I then didn't tell him no or sway his sacred contract and divine will what would be done.
He was seen in his 30s not 80s anymore in his Filipino long sleeve cotton dress shirt and his black slacks on a moonlit beach ballroom dancing with Grandma who had a flower in her hair and chiffon puffed dress. They danced until they disappeared. I said, "Bye."
After that; I received a call from my sister-in-law who said he passed. By this time she realized my gifts without questions. I told her: "I know, his soul told me." I wasn't financially able to leave to go to his funeral and told them so juggling doctor appointments, meals, doctor bills and other responsibilities but I was healed from the pericarditis. My White Knight in Shining Armor - younger brother convinced my Dad to pay my ticket.
The time arriving; was go go go. I went to get the clothing he would need and cufflinks for burial preparations. Then helped to pick the casket flowers and funeral and grave site flowers. I cooked a meal for them in gratitude for my sister-in-law getting him to his appointments and being there for him. Then she was distressed that no one was going to do the eulogy. Spirit decided I would but I wouldn't tell anyone as the words would come from him and Spirit said that I would get all the words.
As I arrived it was the childhood church, priests and choir and most people he never knew. His spirit came out of his body and told me in his navy whites and jet black hair to tell his story. I did that with no effort after crying to start off and said my poem I wrote first. Then I got the strength as he stood by me. I had the responsibility to achieve his message, closure and peace to all there. I was directed lovingly, with out negatives or drama to address each loved one even the adopted daughter as they recorded me. I didn't mind. I then was told that I did a good job rarely said to me by my Mom and the folded military flag was given to me to hold.
It turned out to be a beautiful and informing eulogy to know that family was there when the judge said that they weren't and removed all possible drama.
We then closed the day with the bugle being played and military gun salute that is due to a veteran but my sister-in-law thought she was too late but was elated and cried when they showed up. I congratulated her for her efforts and care for our grandfather and her adopted grandfather. I know it was a duty to serve. I am not a military person but I know service and I know when a warrior dies how to hopefully show them some justice. Much love Grandpa.