Normally at this point, he would have rushed back to his "house" (this is what he calls his room). Instead, he remained at the table and initiated a conversation with me about my wathc. He said, "That there is a nice looking watch you got" to which I thanked him. Wanting to have a conversation, he then asked me if I had to wind it up. I was really impressed that he was so engaging. He was eager to show me his watch and how it "seems to tick and tick forever and hasn't given out". I couldn't help but wonder, are we talking about watches or life? I was grateful that we could connect for a moment even if it was about the mechanics of our watches.
A few moments passed and James got up from the table. He stood by Etta, touched her on the shoulder, and said, "You coming real soon, honey, now aren't ya?" Then, as if he had not already surprised me enough, as he passed by me, he said, "And how's about a kiss for my pretty little girl?" As I looked up, he leaned over and gently placed a sweet kiss on my cheek. I'm 34 and this is the first kiss I recall from my grandfather. Well worth the wait. Sure am glad I didn't give up on waiting for this day. It was a precious moment.
Etta and I visited a bit longer. Today she admitted that she thought they would just stay there while their new teeth are being made. She told me she was glad to have gotten there this morning in time for breakfast because it was really good today. She was glad they weren't running late so they didn't miss it. I brought my nail polish and even a few of Hailey's nail gems, but didn't get to it today. She loves for me to do her nails but is always a little hesitant at first as though she has to wait until all of her nails of chipped before its worth being done. I remind her she doesn't have to wait until the color chips to get her nails done, we can change the colors whenever she wants. Before I left, Etta made sure that my phone number was on her bulletin board, on her chalkboard, and in her purse. We then walked out to the nurse's station (she calls it the front desk) so that she could hear me confirm with the nurse manager that she also has my number in case I need to be called.
On Wednesday morning, the GAL appointed to the case visits James and Etta to inform them about the guardianship/conservator petition and hearing. I pray, pray, pray it goes well and that Etta understands that I am doing this to protect and care for them both. My sense is that the GAL will likely not have much of a conversation with James (unless she comes bearing food or a fancy timepiece).
To those of you reading these endless entries, I thank you. I write these for myself more than anything. I can't bottle up this time with my grandparents so this is just one way I can preserve these times together. It means a great deal to me that you care enough to read what is happening in their lives. I can't thank you enough for caring and for your support. Please keep it coming- it lifts me up each day!