I consider myself a very blessed person because for the last twenty-two years I've had all four grandparents around, and for fifteen years a great-grandmother too. However, this all looks set to change in a very short space of time.
Grandad Sparky has dementia, and over the last decade we've watched his gradual deterioration. He doesn't know any of us any more. He drifts in and out of consciousness, either anchored in an armchair or in bed, clutching a baby's blanket and a soft toy lamb. We thought the end had come the other day when he had a particularly violent fit, but when we went to see him yesterday he was much improved and had a little more colour to his cheeks. Because I live 300 miles away every visit could be my last. Spud had the idea of taking some photographs.
Grandpa J was also admitted to hospital this week. After several misdiagnoses, the doctors have now raised the 'c' word (i.e. cancer) along with the words 'prostate' and 'bones'. Although this is yet to be confirmed, things are not looking good, and should the diagnosis be correct then he could have only a matter of weeks or months.
He is an old man, and has led a long and healthy life, and he's also a devout Christian, so we believe that death isn't the end, but it's still a lot to come to terms with, and everything has happened so suddenly. Please pray particularly for Grandpa J, my father and Granny J. It is painful for us all to watch a beloved man grow so frail in such a short space of time. This is going to be a very tough time.