Sunday, 24 August 2014

A Pink Fishing Kit

I am in a home surrounded by the chatter of my children and my granddaughter. Right now my granddaughter is arguing with her aunt about who should get to sit where. The logic, or at least the attitude, of a 3 1/2 year old child is unassailable. She may not win the point, but she sure can make the discussion.

I love the sounds of my children, their thoughtful conversation, their laughter, just the sound of them. Even the temper and tears of a small child are sounds that make a home. It helps me remember a life before ALS, before my divorce, before I came to Calgary. I once had a life where I had was a father, a care give, the person who others depended on.

My daughter is visiting me, along with her husband and daughter. They are staying with me for a few days before heading down to Lethbridge where they will attend a wedding. My other daughter is taking the time to make sure she comes to visit too, ensuring she gets some sister time in at the same time as I get some Dad time and some Grandpa time. It doesn't happen very often; I wish it happened more often.

My children are adjusting to ALS, to what is and what will happen to me. They get to see the reality of this illness when they come to visit; the wheelchairs, the lift, the shower seat. They come to better understand what I am losing and how I am declining. Yet they also get to spend time talking to me, sharing my daily life, hearing how I see the world through this lens.

There is fun too. Yesterday we went shopping over in the mall, specifically we went to the Disney Store and the "Barbie store", giving me an opportunity to spoil my granddaughter even further. On our way over, she sat on my lap in my power wheelchair, demanding that I go fast, and faster. She even got a turn to driving, saying to me "Can I drive with the stick?" That's the joystick that controls the chair. Straight lines don't appear to matter when you are 3 1/2 years old. She loved it, and so did I.

In a moment we are off to Bass Pro to look for a pink fishing kit. After all, isn't that what Grandpa's do, teach their grandchildren how to fish? I may not be able to get all the way there, but a pink fishing kit is certainly a good start for a little girl.

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