Several years ago, after my grandmother had been dead for a while my grandfather had a stroke and moved in with my mother. His house in Boston sat vacant so we decided to sell our house and go live in the city for a year (which is another post in itself!)
My mother called me one morning very upset because the home heath aids were stealing from my grandfather (at least $100 confirmed and admitted to) and were unreliable, and one she even felt threatened by, but she didn't know what to do because she needed someone to take care of him. Having been a home heath aid in a former life I told her to cancel everyone and I would be there in the morning.
So for the next several months the kids and I would head over to my mom's in the morning and get Pappy ready for the day. It was nice to spend so much time with him, and great for the kids as well. One day talk of the casino came up, and how much Pappy wanted to go. I jokingly told my mother I would willingly trade her three little kids for one old man. "DEAL!" she practically shouted!
I called for hotel reservations and it was about as expensive as a new car. Mom said to put it on his credit card, he wanted to go no matter what the price. So we booked a handicap accessible room and headed off.
When we wheeled him through the lobby he got teary eyed and said, "I never thought I would get to see the inside of this place ever again!"
We all had a great time. I distinctly remember telling him, "Pappy, it's two am!" "I'm fine," he replied. You go to bed if you need to!" It was a long night but he was in his glory and he ended up winning at the slots!
We got him home safely and the NEXT day he dislocated his hip. I remember being eternally grateful that he hadn't dislocated it on our trip. I could hear a certain relatives voice inside my head telling me how irresponsible it was to take him to a casino and what the hell was I thinking!
He came home from the hospital a few days later, and a few days after that my mother left for her vacation. My uncle came to stay with him and on Friday night invited some of his old friends over. Pappy was in great spirits with a renewed energy. Saturday Mom came home and Sunday he died.
I am so happy that I was able to take him on such a fun adventure right before he died. In fact, the relative I spoke of above actually told me how great it was that I did that for him, something she added that she would NEVER have been able to do. I agree, it was pretty darn awesome.
Today we are going to said casino many many hours away for an overnight. I will be thinking of Pappy and feeling good, knowing that I did the right thing, as bizarre as it sounded at the time.