Saturday, June 07, 2008

Grandpa Rajala

On Thursday morning, I received a troubling call from my mom. She told me she had some bad news. Grandpa wasn't doing well. Grandpa Rajala has Alzheimer's disease, but he's been relatively stable over the past several years. My heart started pounding and I felt the tears well up in my eyes as she told me the news. She said he had a stroke, followed by what they think was a second stroke. They also found fluid in his lungs, indicating pneumonia as a possibility. He was completely unresponsive. The doctor told her that she needed to get up there immediately, as he expected my grandpa to have only about two more days to live.

Mom and Dale immediately headed back up north. When I asked mom how long they were planning to be there, she said, "As long as I need to be, I suppose."

Grandpa has been on my mind ever since that call. I know that I am powerless to do anything but pray. But what, exactly, am I supposed to pray for? I've never been in this situation before. I've never lost anyone close to me.

When I saw that I had a missed call today, I feared the worst. To my surprise and delight, mom called to say that he is doing a lot better, physically. Mentally, he is still quite lost, but he has been eating a little and drinking. Ice cream and milkshakes are his foods of preference and today he asked for mom to get him some beer! There are small moments of recognition of the people around him, but mostly his mind has regressed to the past, when he worked in the mill and the gravel pits.

Mom and Dale are heading back home tomorrow and hopefully they will not be called to rush back up north anytime soon.

I pray for mind, body, and soul--that all would be cared for and held securely in the hands of God. I pray this prayer not only for my Grandpa, but for all those who love him so much.

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