Sunday, November 23, 2008

Day 3 (Sunday) in California

After a few days at Yosemite and hanging out with Diana and Chad, it was time to reunite with the rest of the Gustafson clan. Leaving on time for a change, we rolled into the Chico's Chili's and waited for Mom and Dad to meet up with us. The food and company was good. Diana and I also decided that the margaritas were also pretty good! With full bellies, we headed over to visit with Grandma and Grandad. I haven't seen them since September and I cannot say that they are doing all that well. Grandma looks very tired and Grandad has lost 30 or more lbs; they both are beginning to wear their age. It breaks my heart to see them like this, but there is nothing I can do. There is nothing that any of us can do. It's the unfortunate end of the lifecycle ... it may be inevitable, but I don't have to like it. In any case, my Grandma is beginning to show serious signs of dementia or althemier's--I don't know which it is. She mostly keep mum during our visit to her house, but a few times she mentioned that we'd better lower our voices for fear of being asked to leave [the restaurant] and at the end of the visit she suggested (more than once) that perhaps it was time for her and Grandad "to go home." It's really tough to hear that and try to decide whether or not you want to mention that she's already at home. I cannot imagine what it must be like to not even be aware of whether or not you are at home. How lost must a person feel if they are unable to discern where home is? I have to admit, I'm just trying not to even think about it.

On an even darker, more sinister scale, we learned that my [formerly?] drug-addicted cousin and her recently-paroled husband were to be moving into Grandma and Grandad's house that very same afternoon. They were supposed to arrive by 2pm, but even by 5:30 they had not made an appearance. Apparently they are moving in to assist Grandma and Grandad. I'll reserve my true feelings about the matter, but I can say that everyone in attendence was not favorable to the idea, including my own Grandmother. I just (naively) hope that nothing bad arises out of that situation.

After saying farewell and in a shower of hugs and kisses, Florin and I rode in the dusty-blue minivan back to my parent's house. The house hasn't changed one bit in these past few years, but the landscaping has really come along. The southside is nearly completed with brick walkways and built-up sections. The northside has really flourished in it's "natural parklike setting" of redwoods, fruit-bearing trees and figs, and with a three-year old wysteria overtaking the rustic decaying boomtruck. Apparently, the grounds are slated to be included in the Spring Garden Tour of 2010.

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