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  • Hello Pa… Goodnight Pa
  • Author avatar
    Laurie Calkins
  • lifestyle

Hello Pa… Goodnight Pa

Tonight is so significant to me and I have three reasons why.

Hello Pa, Goodnight Pa

On this 10 day of August, tonight will be the largest super moon of the year in 2014. As I gaze at every full moon ever since I can remember, it has just been something I do, but since Pa died 5 years ago, I never miss it. I tear up because this man meant so much to my life and who I am today.

I visited Pa right before he died and I can remember flying over to Mumbles, a small village in South Wales with my Sister Shelly in first class for the first time on an overseas trip using points I had accumulated from the purchasing power of our restaurants. We were delighted because we knew this was going to be the hardest trip we had ever taken especially the flight home. We had spent much of our younger years traveling to South Wales to spend the Summers with our beloved Nana and Pa and we had an incredible loving relationship with these two people who loved us unconditionally, especially our Grandfather.

It had been hard for them, Nana was put into a hospital because she kept calling the fire department because she said someone had stolen the top floor of her home and they would find her in the closet. She was suffering from dementia and in South Wales they put you in a “mental hospital” for that if you can not be controlled.

Pa was also suffering from this terrible disease but he had home care which was perfect for him. Each morning I woke up and it was literally like the movie “50 first dates”. He was such a loving little thing. I would sit on his bed next to him and I would say “good morning sunshine”! He would look and stare for a very long time and say with a slight twinkle in his eye, “who are you”?  I would look and say, “Pa, look into my eyes, you love me remember”?  He would look back and say “I know I love you but I just don’t know why”? I believe that your eyes are the windows to your soul and you will always find your truth there. This would go on throughout the day with my sister and I both bringing his memory back so that by the end of the day, he remembered us and we would just laugh all night. Then it would begin again in the morning.

Pa knew where Nana was and believe me it took us two days to convince him he had to come. We had not yet visited Nana because we were trying to get him situated, talking to his doctors and just trying to recover from jet lag. We set off to the hospital which would literally be one of the worst moments of my life.

WE entered this long, sterile and very cold hallway that led to where they keep all of the patients. It was an overcrowded area full of elderly patients, people crying and screaming and it was just horribly depressing. I knew then it was going to be bad. My body started to shake, my mind was swirling and the only thing I could think of was to find her. I was frantically looking into every persons eyes and I could not find her until I heard a voice “Sylvia, is that you”! It was Nana and my mind knew from her voice it was her but her body was so frail. You see, Nana was a bigger women but this women was so small, petite, quiet and just a shell. Sylvia is my Mother and I look exactly like her so I can see how she thought it was her. Everything was in the past for her. You never knew exactly what year she would be in.

I ran to her with tears in my eyes that was about to turn into the ugly cry as I just knelt and put my head in her lap. I am not sure how long I stayed there. She was really in a catatonic state and heavily drugged. My heart just fell to the floor until I felt the rage start to over power my body. I looked at my Sister and we both were thinking the same thing. Get a wheelchair and let’s go… That is just the way we roll. First instinct, lets take her and leave. Then, I started to scream, “where the hell is the doctor”. In England no one screams and they certainly do not act like me. I wanted answers and I wanted them now. I think I scared every single person in that place and swore I would report all of them for negligence and neglect. I do not mess around when someone has hurt my family and you should run,  not walk from me if this ever occurs. Americans take it upon themselves to solve issues, the Welch are way to polite but slightly spicier than the English, not my style. I’m a true Gemini, sweet, bubbly and charming but also in your face, never back down & explosive…

My Grandfather just kept saying “Marion, I will take you away from here my love”… He is just the sweetest, most loving man I have ever known. Long story short, we had Nana out of there the next day into the best nursing home overlooking the sea. That is how she spent the last years of her life with the best care and loving people around her.

If you are wondering why the moon is so significant and why August 10 is so important. Well, the moon firstly, is something I shared with my Grandfather. Every time we left him to go back to America, he would say “darlings, every time you see the full moon I will be thinking of you and you will think of me so we will always be together”, which I have done and will always do. Secondly, it is my Nana’s birthday today and I would love for all of you to wish her a lovely day in heaven, she would absolutely be over the moon, no pun intended.  Thirdly, it is my 24th Wedding Anniversary, married to a brilliant, loving and beautiful man, David which coincidently he is taking me to Amaluna “Cirque du Soleil” performance at National Harbor which means “Mother Moon”. Fate…

We lost Pa shortly after that trip on a full moon January 10 (the largest moon of the year in 2009). I was not there but I know he did this for me… If you don’t believe now, I don’t know what to tell you…

I love you Nana and Pa…

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  • Author avatar
    Laurie Calkins
  • lifestyle