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Three years ago I was reunited with my paternal grandparents. I wrote about that here. We recently visited them. On our last few visits my grandmother had been talking about going for testing as she thought she might have Alzheimer’s. On our last visit she confirmed that she had been formally diagnosed. She could not remember our last visit and meeting Gabby. She thought she was meeting her for the first time. We also (accidentally) found out that my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer of the bladder in July when he casually mentioned a “chemo injection”. Somehow this news never reached me. I think because we were separated for so long I am not part of the family grapevine anymore. My heart sank.


My grandparents are moving up country to live with one of their sons (not my father). They are currently living in a house owned by their youngest son (they have 3, one of which is my father and a daughter) and are opting to move to Mpumalanga. It is a good move for them as there will be someone there to assist them and help look after them on a day to day basis whereas now they are mostly doing things with help of their youngest son who also has a demanding career and a fiancé. There will be someone to help with chores, cooking, etc as well so my grandmother doesn’t have to do it all. For me this means that I will likely never see them again once they have moved.


I am torn. On the one hand I am going to miss them terribly. There is a big difference between not visiting someone and not being able to visit someone. I will make a plan to see them at least once a month until they leave. My grandfather is already working in his month’s notice at work. On the other hand I know this means that I will not have to watch these diseases ravage them. Apparently my grandfather stands a good chance at remission. I am afraid to hope. My maternal grandfather was given a very good prognosis as well and I watched him waste away. I don’t want to do that again. I want to remember him as I do now.


It is such a crappy situation. I hope to get at least a couple more visits in and want to take photos of them and us and the kids.  I know I’m lucky to have grandparents living at all (thanks to my mother who had me really young), but it is very hard watching them go. Whether they are moving away, or leaving this earth.


I am glad to have had these 3 years with them. Granted we have only seen them a handful of times, but they have been good. *sigh* Life is hard.