My immediate family and I went to Portland, Oregon yesterday to celebrate my grandfather’s, my dad’s dad, birthday. I think this was the first time in over ten years since all four of us piled in the car and travelled to Portland like old times. So the four hour ride south was… interesting to say the least. The ride down was tolerable with minimal fighting between everyone. We were going to pick up my mom’s brother to take to the party with us. He lived an hour out of the way from where the party was. Once we were almost to his home, he cancelled on us. It was kind of a relief because he has some mental and behavioral health issues. We think he has autism and maybe some other developmental delays. He is also a hoarder like you see on TV and has poor hygiene so it would have been rough to be at a party with him. He is very kind and means well, but sometimes it is just easier not to be with him, but at least he was invited and felt appreciated.
Once we got to the house, we said hello to everyone, which was my aunt and uncle. My grandpa, grandma, and their good friend came over next. It was his birthday so I was the second to say happy birthday, his first apparently being his insurance agent who called at 8am that morning. My grandma barely made it in the house due to the two steps to get into the house, even with the help of grandpa and their friend. We got her sitting down and comfortable. Since she has Alzheimer’s, she kept thinking that this was twenty or thirty years ago, trying to help my aunt with the BBQ food and offered to cut my meat up for me like I was a little kid again. It is always a bit disheartening to see her rapid deterioration of her illness. However, my sister has not seen my grandma since her wedding in January of 2020 and before that it may have been three or four years ago.
My sister ended up going into the bathroom to cry because she didn’t realize how mentally gone my grandma had become. She was upset with the way everyone treated her and how my grandpa mistreated her. She thought she needed more help than she was receiving. Now my sister isn’t wrong in thinking this, but she may have come to this realization a lot earlier had she, ya know, stayed in contact and been in touch with her and the family more than twice in the five years that my grandma has been sick.
I talked at least a little bit to everyone and after 4 hours of being there and eating heavy BBQ food and having a lot of socialization, I was kind of mentally checked out. I think emotionally I handled myself well and I didn’t have any sort of break down, but I didn’t want to get to that point either. So I asked my dad if we were ready to head out because we still had a four hour ride back home.
We said our goodbyes to everyone and I was able to get a good family photo of everyone. It included my grandparents, their four kids, with each of their spouses, and five of the seven grandchildren, so only two cousins were missing. We have an exceptionally small family; I only had five cousins total, all on my dad’s side of the family.
The car ride home was a little more eventful because my sister was all tearful and emotional. It was just taking everything inside of me to not start a fight and my sister was being very abrasive toward me and to not fight back took some strength within me.
We eventually dropped my sister off at home and then drove the next twenty minutes back to my parents’ home. I basically crashed as soon as I got into my own bed. Today I slept most of the day and my sister’s ex boyfriend, who is a dear friend of mine, came over and power washed my parent’s house and cleaned out the gutters. I have just been hanging out, not doing much because I work the next three days. I am working about 30 hours in 3 days. But I gotta make that cash cash, money money! I feel pretty good. I have work orientation for the next two days and then I work my full 12 hour shift on Wednesday.
I am happy I was able to go down to Oregon and see everybody. I am not sure how many more family get togethers we all will have with both of my grandparents there and everybody else. So I am learning to cherish all the time I can get with my family. Hopefully I can go back before I attend school near the end of August.
Well, cheers to a new week and here is to learning and growing more each and every moment.