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Crooked Smile Update #1

My grandfather is doing a little better. I spent most of yesterday and today at the hospital back home. By yesterday he looked pretty good. His right eye was a little droopy, but he could open it. He still couldn't move the right side of his body, which is his handed side, so he gets frustrated. He still can't talk. He can completely understand everything you say, and he can nod to answer you. He can do some things you ask him to do, like hold up two fingers, but some things he can't do. He understands what is asked of him, he just can't make himself do it. It is very saddening. I held it together pretty well for his sake, but when he wasn't looking or when I was home, I couldn't help but cry. They haven't said if his damage is a result of the stroke or the swelling in his brain. If it is the swelling, he should be starting to get better, but he isn't really changing. He did tell me yesterday that he wanted to go home. It sounded about like "Wone-o-ome", but I understood him. That's pretty much all he's said to anybody. He can't even say his wife's or children's names. This is not my grandfather. It can't be. My grandfather is healthy. He gets around good. He is ONLY 68. He's young. He is quick-witted and smart. He talks to hear himself talk. He can bullshit even the bullshittiest bullshitter. He's loud. He's always right. He's strong. This can't be my grandfather. Writing this now, it hits me really hard. I've tried really hard to be strong for the sake of my grandfather and my family, but it has taken its toll. The one good thing in all this is the family. My family has pulled together, and everyone is really pulling their own weight. We were all buying hamburgers, coffee, sodas, snacks, etc., and just leaving them for whomever wanted them. We were all taking our turns being by his side. (He is in the NCCU--neurological critical care unit--so only one person is supposed to be in there at a time, but he gets scared and cries when he is alone, so they let two of us in there at once.) It is sad that it often takes a tragedy to realize the importance of family, but I'm so proud of mine for really stepping up. We truly have an amazing family, and as sad and worried as I am, it somehow feels OK because of them. Please continue to pray if you are doing so, and if you aren't, please please pray. He really needs you. I need you. Thank you.

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