Last weekend, my family and I went to visit my grandfather. Granddaddy celebrated his 91st birthday last week and we all went to help him celebrate the big day. For dinner Saturday night, we took him out to Olive Garden. Apparently we were not the only people in Memphis with this idea. There was some type of soccer tournament or convention in Memphis and apparently half of them decided that Italian food from Olive Garden would be a good dinner Saturday night. And here's the scary part--we went to dinner at 4:30 p.m. central time and still had to wait 50 minutes for a table. I cannot imagine what the line was like later when it really got crowded.
Davis and his great-Granddaddy
I enjoyed the visit with Granddaddy a good deal, though it was difficult in some ways. My grandfather is slowly sucumbing to Alzheimer's and it's hard to see a man who was once "sharp as a tack" slowly losing his memory. I almost cried Saturday night when I tried to explain to him how to use the remote control for the TV to find the ballgame that he saw listed in the paper. (I am not sure if he figured it out...he asks me about how to do it every time I come. It wasn't helped a lot by the fact that the Grizzlies game was blacked out so when we tuned over to Fox Sports Net, we got blank screen).
I wanted to cry not because I was frustrated from helping him, but frustrated for him. It also made me precious the little things in life are--I take for granted I can use a remote on the TV and get to the station I want. I will sometimes say that I look forward to losing my memory--that way the old Star Trek
episodes will all be new again. This reminded me to not wish for something like that. If there's one thing I've discovered this past year, it's that you can take away a lot of things in your life, but to lose your memory is a great tragedy.
Also, I have to say this--my grandfather lives in a retirement community. He has cable that I believe is selected by the retirement community. Flipping around, they get Comedy Central and Tech TV but don't get Turner South, which is the home of most of the Braves games now. I know this because when I went to visit over the summer, every morning at breakfast and every evening at dinner, I'd hear about how they couldn't find the Braves games on TV and could I find them for he and his freinds? Honestly, I can't imagine many people in the retirement community are lining up to watch South Park
....and having seen it, I say that is all for the best.
Part of living in the retirement community is that it's a lot like dorm life at college. You walk down the halls and hear loud TVs playing as you walk by each apartment. Also, everyone eats at least two meals a day in the cafeteria--in this case breakfast and dinner. On Sunday morning, I was treated to a unique debate between two older guys. One didn't want to pay taxes anymore because all his tax money went to pay for the US Army to torture Iraqui civilians. Also, he didn't like torture, he thought the war was wrong and it wasn't a real war--there hasn't been a real war since we defeated Hitler. The other guy disagreed with him on some issues, so the first guy insisted the other guy was brainwashed. Apparently some group comes in at night and brainwashes him from what I gathered. This was amusing at first, but after ten minutes it got old since they went over the same three points again and again.
I'm telling you, I think these two guys have blogs out there....
posted by Michael Hickerson at 12/16/2004 10:51:00 AM