15 May 2017

I went to visit my grandfather at the hospital yesterday.

He had checked himself in the day before due to chest pains. He was having difficulty breathing. And given how many times he had had heart surgery he wasn’t going to take any chances.

My mother called him yesterday morning and established what floor he was on, then we set off for the hospital.

Arriving in the spacious room with about thirty beds, I saw him. He was sitting on the bed, hunched over a few pieces of paper. He had not seen us.

The image struck me. He looked so vulnerable and alone. And the thing is, he is vulnerable and alone. He has a live-in helper, but that’s nothing compared to family.

He looked up, saw us, and put his papers away. My dad brought stools, and my mom and I sat down next to the bed. We sat with him for two hours, talking about this and that. My dad sat some distance away on the visitor’s bench, playing a game on his phone.

I was the one who suggested leaving. It was getting late afternoon and I wanted to sort through our DVD collection when I got home.

My grandpa was sad that we were leaving. He didn’t say anything, but you could feel it. As we walked away I looked back, and wished I hadn’t.

He looked dejected. There was no better word to describe the image that I saw. He was sitting alone on the bed, and loneliness weighed down around him.

The whole episode reminded me of the fact that I still have my grandpa, that he is alone in his house, far away from us, and that he could leave us at a moment’s notice.

I’ll call him today to check up on him. I’ll also make time to go visit him on my days off. There’s a bus I can take that goes straight to his house.

I hope for the sake of me and him that the image stays with me. So I never forget that I have one very important person I need to spend time with.

I will try my best not to forget. I really will. This is my promise to myself.

Let’s not forget our elderly relatives. Let’s love them and be with them as freely as we do our friends and colleagues.

Until next time,

A thoughtful Val

23 March 2014

I. Am. So. Hungry right now.

Today is Sunday. Like most of my Sundays, it is spent at home. For two main reasons: (1) it is my dad’s day off (so, like a good daughter, I stay home to spend some quality Sunday time with him), and (2) I’m too lazy to leave the house.

I mean. Why would they call it ‘lazy Sunday’ if you’re not meant to be lazy on the day? (Actually, come to think of it, I wonder whence the expression came… A religious reference, most likely?)

Getting back to my Sunday, it was much like any other Sunday, except that I annoyingly woke up really early (tends to happen when I’ve had something to drink the night before). Waking up early in itself I am fine with, though not when I haven’t actually had enough sleep nor when the first thing I feel, eyes open, is the after-effects of that pint of beer.

Not enough to call a hangover, just enough to annoy and irritate.

So, I proceeded to do as best I could to have a productive Sunday. (See, I’m not actually that lazy. I just pretend to be. Or so I claim.)

I might have mentioned to you before that I’m a morning person. If not, “I am a morning person”. So, naturally, I expected that getting up early today meant that I could take advantage of my morning-person-ness and get some revision under the belt by noon.

Oh no. No no no. Doesn’t work when you haven’t had enough sleep. And yesterday’s pint didn’t make things any easier either.

After trying for a few hours to plough through a reading, I decided that my time would be better spent on other things. So I went to the post. Washed the car (for the second time this week, thanks to it conveniently raining the day after I gave my car a thorough wash).

Having done all that, it was still only 2pm. That’s how awesome waking up at 6am is – despite the almost-hangover and the not-getting-enough-sleep. See why I’m a morning person?

So I decided to go help my dad with the gardening. And the following two and a half hours, maybe three, were happily spent cutting, trimming, and pulling various species of trees and herbs. I can still feel it on my finger. No blister this time though (unlike two weeks ago when I ended up with a hideous blister the size of a really small pebble on my middle finger – damn oversized tree trunk).

Have you tried using physical activity to stimulate your brain’s capacity for mental activity? It usually works for me. After the gardening, I came back to the reading, and it’s like I’m another person.

Everything suddenly seems interesting. And I’m no longer just typing my notes up so I can finish the damned article and move on. I actually feel like I’m learning things.

The wonderful effects of physical exertion shall never cease to amaze me.

But now I’m hungry. Like, really hungry.

They say the brain consumes the most calories of all your body parts (well, it’s actually a scientifically-backed fact, but “Scientists say” just reads weird).

So me being hungrier now than before I started this post can only mean one thing: it’s a brilliant post.

Since, you know, my brain used up so much energy writing it.

Don’t we love logic. *wink*

Seriously now, though, let me go eat something before my stomach eats itself up. I’ve been told that’s no good.

Until tomorrow,

Hungry Val