While I am a huge fan of using different digital tools to stay connected with others, I also think that nothing can replace the impact of spending some face time with loved ones. These moments are important in building relationships between grandparents and their grandchildren, but can also be useful in helping families keep an eye on an aging loved one's health.
My mother is a character from a Tennessee Williams play... but without a Southern accent. I am her second child and was born when she was 16 years old. Her childhood was cut short and never spoken of in a way that imparted a sense of safety or innocence. Each man she ran away with she hoped would rescue her from the last. She gave up every child she bore to some degree.
I open the door to step back into the room, and he is already asleep again. Sitting in the chair by his bed. The effort to get dressed and move to the chair was too much. He is spent. His lungs are filled with fluid, and he no longer has the physical strength to cough it up. They are giving him medicine designed to help, and he tries, but he just can't get it out anymore.
I've given my strange proclivities a lot of thought, and the only source of blame I can point to is my dad, Dr. Robert M. Miller, aka RMM, Bob, or "Doc." Most people assume that being the child of a veterinarian (a large and exotic vet, at that) isn't all that different from having a parent who's an MD, if they think about it at all.
As I drove along the highway, I noticed it was what my mom likes to call, 'A blue, white and green day.' That epitomizes Florida to her. Vibrant blue sky. White puffy clouds. Luscious green foliage. My dad had spent nearly 12 years here living out his retirement dream. Until the hell that is dementia entered our lives.