About 2 months after my dad died, the storm of busy had finally mellowed, and Karin and I were finally able to breathe a little. We were out to dinner with work friends about 45 minutes from our house that we shared with grandpa
. We were just diving into exchanging Christmas gifts and my phone rang. I looked at my cell and it said “Grandpa”. Oh god. He NEVER calls me.
I answered in the busy restaurant and struggled to hear him. He said “Jennifer, I’m on the ground. I need you to come home.”
Omg…Omg…Immediate guilt for leaving him.
“Okay grandpa, we are on our way,” I said urgently. Karin had already begun calling our neighbor, Larry, who was amazing and called 911, went with him to the hospital and stayed until we could get there.
(Side note: Get to know your neighbors – good neighbors are EVERYTHING)
Sure enough, gramps had popped out his hip again, but they were able to pop it back in and he was back home from the ER a few hours later.
After these kinds of events happen, we always have to recalibrate. What could we have done differently? What supports do we need to put into place now?
For this one, nothing. He just felt weird and slid to the floor. Other than telling him to make sure he has his phone with him, there wasn’t much we could do. We were with him most of the time and he was still very mobile. His house was full of accommodations that he used regularly.
The recalibration this time was in our minds. This could have happened when we were there. There was really nothing we could have done, short of hiring someone to follow him around. We both knew he would promptly fire them the moment we were out of sight. We had to let the guilt go. We had to trust that we were doing the best we could for him.
Have you ever had to re-calibrate after a scary experience? I’d love to hear your experience.