Good with the Bad

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This weekend is definitely one of those weekends.


I think that is going without saying that watching someone you love grow older and get sick blows.  There’s not a nice way to put it.  It sucks.  I am such an optimistic person, and life is so wonderful and amazing, but this is one aspect of reality that I just can’t wrap up in a pretty bow and say, “It’s alright.”  Because it’s not, and it really never is. 


But there were great parts of the weekend, too.  The Husband and I love to talk to my grandpa and ask him about his life – he remembers so many crazy details!  He even remembers the first and last name and occupation of the woman that was sitting next to my grandma on the day they met.  I can’t even remember who I went to high school with. 


Other fun facts about my Gee-pa, who will be 95 in July:


  • His first job was delivering newspapers when he was 11.  He made 50 cents on the weekdays and $4 on Sundays.  He turned all of his money over to the family, as much of this was during the Great Depression.
  • He had six children, and when the first two were babies, he gave my grandma a year’s worth of diaper service (no disposables back then, so everything had to be washed and hung up to dry).  It cost $4 a month.  He said it was the best gift ever.
  • He wasn’t allowed in the delivery room for the birth of any of his children.  That’s just not how they did things back in those days.  He sat in the waiting room until a nurse came out and said, “It’s a boy!”
  • The down payment on his first house was $500.
  • “Prohibition was stupid.”


There’s always some good with the bad, right?  I guess you just have to make the effort to look for it.


Hotel/supermarket breakfast, which looks kind of gross but was actually quite tasty.


Oatmeal with banana


Toast and buttah

Deviled eggs


Time to go home.  450 miles to go.



  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen December 18, 2011, 10:13 am

    My grandfather had a cardiac scare (at 82) last week and was hospitalized shortly because of it. Thankfully, it wasn’t heart related at all but I totally understand what you mean about the realization of aging. It sucks and it’s really hard to deal with when there’s nothing you can do but watch it happen. I live 45 minutes from my grandfather and don’t see or talk to him nearly enough. It’s sad that’s what it took to wake me up to that fact because you never know when they’ll be gone.

  • Alexandria December 18, 2011, 10:15 am

    It is super hard to watch that happen and not be able to do anything about it. In October of this year, I lost both of my grandparents and it was seriously one of the hardest times of my life. I hope that he is at peace with his life and that you are able to stay strong. My thoughts are with you & your family.

  • Natalcho @ Tomatoes Rock December 18, 2011, 10:21 am

    I know what you mean about watching someone you love growing older. The only silver lining is that they were lucky enough to grow old and to be surrounded by children, grand parents and great grand children. When my grandfather passed away a couple of years ago and I went to a funeral for the first time thoughts about mortality hit me hard. But there was something beautiful about the fact that he lived to see, love and get to know three generations after him.

  • Kaci December 18, 2011, 10:24 am

    I’m so sorry, words are so hard at times like this. XOXO

  • ~Jessica~ December 18, 2011, 10:28 am

    That picture of you is incredibly powerful. It made my heart melt.

    Best wishes to you and your Grandfather – he sounds like such a wonderful character.


  • Khushboo December 18, 2011, 10:41 am

    I know it’s easy to feel disheartened in these situations but the best way to handle it is to relish the memories and stay positive for your grandfather! He sounds like a great man! Thinking of you Caitlin!

  • Gillian @ The Greener Bean December 18, 2011, 10:41 am

    I agree with Jessica – that picture of you speaks a thousand words. It is so hard watching our loved ones grow older… your Grandpa sounds like a pretty amazing guy. My best to you!

  • Kath December 18, 2011, 10:46 am

    I love “prohibition was stupid” 🙂

    Glad you got to spend some good time with G-pa.

  • Amanda @Fancy Oatmeal December 18, 2011, 10:50 am

    My heart goes out to you and your family. It’s never easy to be in this situation. My papa was my hero and everything he said and did was so magical to me. He had a stroke just because I graduated high school, and stayed in the hospital for over a month. I was by his bedside everyday. That was almost twelve years ago and I am tearing up as I write this response. Sending you prayers and support.

  • Shari December 18, 2011, 10:52 am

    I’m so sorry that you’re going through this – you’re right, there are no words to help. I lost both my grandfathers years ago and both my grandmothers within this past year and a half, and honestly, the pain never goes away. The situation with my Gram this summer was the worst and most painful of my life and it makes me sad every single day. But when that happens, I stop and redirect my thinking to all the beautiful, special memories we shared. It’s a gift to have those, to have spent so much time together. I know it’s hard – sometimes seemingly impossible – but when you’re upset, try to reflect on the good. Remember the stories your Grandpa tells you. Remember the way he made you smile this weekend. And, most of all, have faith. Miracles can and do happen. I hope he continues to get better <3

  • Priyanka December 18, 2011, 11:10 am

    I got to see just one of my grandparents and he really made up for all of them. I know its hard but stay positive and cherish this time with him!

    Have a safe journey back home.

  • Amy December 18, 2011, 11:46 am

    I think it helps, when you’re watching an aged loved one decline, to reflect on what a blessing it is that that person has lived to such an old age, surrounded by friends and loved ones — and that you have gotten to spend so many years with him! Not everyone has that opportunity. My grandmother lived to be nearly 97 years old and at the end of her life was still living on her own and had all her mental faculties. When she died it was such a celebration (despite our grief), because we saw her long life as a victory in a way. I have one grandparent left and she has no memory, and my mom is also no longer with us — so when I hear that people still have grandparents (who they can have conversations with, even!) I see it as a huge blessing for that person.

    The death of a grandparent is a loss, for sure, but reflecting on the things he’s taught you and the blessing of his long relationship with you makes the loss feel much less painful, in my experience. The change in perspective can bring a lot of peace to a difficult situation.

    • Sharon December 18, 2011, 1:33 pm

      This is so true. My Grandmother passed away at the age of 97 back in March. I feel so lucky to have had her in my life for so long (32 years). Yesterday as I taped a Christmas card to the door it made me smile as I realized this was something I had gotten from her. She would always get so many Christmas cards and she would tape them up to the back of her front door to display them. So, even though she is gone I am comforted by memories like these. You always have memories.

  • Kristina December 18, 2011, 11:49 am

    I just want to give you a big hug. and your grandpa!

    I consider myself SO lucky to have had close relationships with my grandparents – that is often rare. Such a great perspective to talk to someone with those experiences, I am happy you were able to spend the weekend with him!


  • Penny December 18, 2011, 11:59 am

    My grandfather on my mothers side died a few years back at the age of 102. He fathered 6 six kids, and he had somewhere in the vicinity of 80 grandkids and great-grandkids.
    The last time I saw him, he didn’t have the first clue who I was. 🙂 And that didn’t bother me. I was never particularily close to my grandparents on my mothers side. But I’m still impressed by his long and healthy life. He was married to my grandmother for 75 years.

    I don’t know why I just shared all that. 🙂

  • Jen December 18, 2011, 12:12 pm

    He sounds like quite a guy! LOL at ‘prohibition was stupid’. I’m glad you got to spend some quality time with him!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin December 18, 2011, 12:15 pm

    Oh Caitlin, I know how you feel! I like to think that my grandparents and parents will live forever, but it’s really hard when I’m reminded that that’s not the case. The important thing is to enjoy the time we have with them now! Which clearly you are doing. It sounds like you had a wonderful afternoon with your grandpa. 🙂

  • Tricia December 18, 2011, 12:15 pm

    You and I are the same age and my Pop Pop died in July at the age of 85. We weren’t incredibly close since my dad is one of eight and I have 25+ cousins but it was incredibly sad. It does suck. It sucks watching your parents and other family members suffer. Try to find the beauty in those moments. My Pop Pop’s death has put a resurgence in my dads side of the family to be close and to get together more often. His 86th birthday would have been on Tuesday and we are having a birthday/Christmas party in his honor on Friday.

    I’m sorry you are going through this, but I’m glad you’re getting to spend some quality time with him.

  • Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga December 18, 2011, 12:36 pm

    Thanks for sharing those facts…and even just 20 years ago the nurse into the waiting room, men sat outside thing…still happened. Heck, in some countries it still does. But woo-hoo to your gramps for getting a diaper service. The last thing a new mom wants to be doing is washing diapers, by HAND…I cloth diapered but not til my daughter was about 5 mos old. Couldn’t have imagined it from the get-go.

    I hope your Grandpa pulls through.

    You’re all in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Apple A Day December 18, 2011, 12:38 pm

    I am so sorry to hear about your grandfather. Recently I lost my beloved grandmother. One of the things I keep telling myself when I feel sad about it is to think about how fortunate I am to have spent so much time with her as an adult. I had a nana until I was 32 years old, how cool is that? We got to know each other as grownups and she taught me so much about life that I couldn’t have appreciated when I was younger. That’s what I try to focus on when I feel sad and angry about losing her.
    My thoughts are with you. grandparents are so very special. cherish the time you have and tell lots of stories.

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey December 18, 2011, 12:39 pm

    Sorry you are having a hard time with your gramps. It does suck watching people you love get old/sick. I find it amazing how much he remembers!

  • Amber K December 18, 2011, 12:41 pm

    Wow, that’s crazy how well he can remember! I can’t remember stuff from my own life, let alone with that many years passing. So glad that you got to spend this time with him, I’m just sorry that it has to be because he got sick.

  • gina (fitnessista) December 18, 2011, 12:45 pm

    keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers <3

  • Cait @ Beyond Bananas December 18, 2011, 12:46 pm

    It is hard to watch the ones we love get sick, but you are also super lucky to have had him for so many years! All of my grandparents passed away by the time I was in 6th grade, so Iw as never able to ask them questions like this. Just cherish all of the moments you do do have with him! 🙂

  • sonia the mexigarian December 18, 2011, 12:46 pm

    I definetly know what you mean. Both my own grandmother and my Hubby’s grandmother are growing older and sick, and it’s painful to see the effects and there is nothing you can do to help but make them comfortable and spend time with them.

    We just came home from Sacramento, viting the inlaws, and the discussion on the way home was what we can do to help his grandparents especially his grandmother who can barely walk and really shouldn’t be driving. We follow her around as she shuffles because we’re worried she will fall again (she fell two days ago (the most recent) and didn’t call anyone for help) :\ She is as sharp as a fresh razor blade too. Frustrating, depressing and a strong feeling of helplessness was a big feeling amongst us.

    I am so glad you got to spend time with your grandpa. Those 450 miles is completely worth the small hours you can spend talking to him. Listening, learning, and discovering more of your grandparents is an amazing feeling. I am only learning more about my dear abuelo y mi abuelita, long after they have passed.

    Cherish the moments. <3

    sorry for the long post. It really hits home.

  • Christine @ BookishlyB December 18, 2011, 12:56 pm

    I think the worst part of growing up is the realization that the older people in your life are also getting older. Grandparents, parents, old teachers… It’s never easy and it’s okay to admit that it sucks. Safe travels.

  • Yolie @ Practising Wellness December 18, 2011, 1:28 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear about your Grandfather, Caitlin, I completely understand what you mean…my Grandma passed away last Sunday, after steadily deteriorating, and it was so so so hard and heart-breaking to see, it made my heart ache. I’m so glad for all the times I went to see her though, even when I found it hard, because I am happy for my visits to have been a source of happiness for her during her final years. I am sending you much love and supportive vibes – your Grandpa sounds like such a dude, and a wonderful man, and I’m sure he’s so thankful you and The Husband took the time to visit him and show your love for him <3 xyx

  • Carin December 18, 2011, 1:32 pm

    Nothing I say will change the situation and you’re already dealing with a tough situation with maturity and wisdom. It still sucks. Hope you can take strength from celebrating your pregnancy and knowing that all of this essence is distilled and passed on. Sounds like you share a lot with your Grandpa – wit, a practical side, the ability to notice on and appreciate the little details, love for family, a hard-working responsible nature…and a skill for a witty one-liner!

    Love, safe journey home and a cyber-hug x

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats December 18, 2011, 2:01 pm

    I’m glad you got to spend some time with him! I know how you feel, last year when I came home I visited with my great aunt for the last time, she passed away a couple weeks later. It was so hard to see her like that, I definitely cried the whole way home…

  • Karlee @olivewineandfood December 18, 2011, 3:15 pm

    I’m sorry you are sad. The holidays are tough. I lost both of my grandpas within months of each other, when I was in high school. Grandpas are very special. As are grandmas. I was very close with my grandparents and I often dream of them. I work with the elderly every day and they often remind me of my grandparents. They always tell me not to get old. I read this the other day, it made me happy. “Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.”

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) December 18, 2011, 3:24 pm

    Thinking of you and your family at this tough time xx Keep trying to focus on the good – even when the ‘bad’ starts to feel overwhelming xx

  • Bec December 18, 2011, 3:33 pm

    I’ve lost both my grandpas within the span of about 3 years. One was very sudden and one’s health just slowly got worse and worse – he made it to 96. Unfortunately, he had dimentia so the last few years there wasn’t a lot of time to tell stories as he didn’t remember. BUT. I will never regret going over to spend a couple hours with him every single time I went home. I will not regret seeing his smile whenever my grandma told him his granddaughter was here even though he did not know my name or any of the memories we shared. Grandpas are a special breed and I was so blessed to have 2 of the best of them around. I know what you are going through and sometimes knowing someone else understands makes all the difference. Enjoy your grandpa to the fullest 🙂

  • Becca December 18, 2011, 3:36 pm

    Death is tough, but always know that there’s a better place for us. Heaven is beyond any perfect thing or person on this Earth. While death is sad because we’ll miss those we love, it’s only temporary. Celebrate your grandfather’s life, which it sounds like you are right now!!! I’ll be praying for you and your grandfather 🙂

  • Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn December 18, 2011, 4:09 pm

    Ohhh muffin. Stay strong! I know what it’s like. The same thing is happening to my Grandma. There’s no way to sugar-coat it. You just have to keep the love that’s there, and remember the good memories. Mwah. <3

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife December 18, 2011, 4:59 pm

    Oh yes, it is so hard to see someone struggle–whether it is physical, emotional, or else. I wish you all the best–and peace and blessings to your family. Luckily we can know that we will see each other again, and one day we will be without pain and suffering!

    Have a safe trip home 🙂

  • Billie December 18, 2011, 5:38 pm

    I am so sorry to hear about your Grandpa not being too well. I know how awful it is for you. My own father who is 76 had a massive stroke at the end of August and is now in a nursing home. It is a very long recovery for him. I am glad Gee-Pa is a ‘bouncer’ he will bounce back pretty well I am sure. x

  • Sarah L December 18, 2011, 6:01 pm

    I’m sorry that you’re dealing with this. It is always difficult to watch those we love suffer or age. It’s wonderful that you had a chance to spend some time reminiscing with your grandfather this weekend. Thank you for sharing some of the “fun facts” from his life. It sounds like he has an incredible memory.

  • Andrea of Care to Breed December 18, 2011, 7:16 pm

    My Grandmother died when I was five months pregnant. It was very surreal to be bringing a life into the world when saying goodbye to another one. Still, the circle of life is amazing.

  • KaraHadley December 18, 2011, 8:36 pm

    My grandpa has Alzheimer’s and this Christmas will be my first time seeing him since he started to decline. I’m hoping to soak up as many stories and aged wisdom as I can. It’s so great that your Gee-Paw can still remember that much. Hopefully you’ll get to spend more time with him soon.

  • Mary December 18, 2011, 8:48 pm

    I’m so glad for you getting to spend time with your Grandpa. It IS hard to watch those you love get older. My Dad has good days and bad, and there are times I know he is not sure who I am anymore. All time is precious though. My Dad almost died from a cardiac arrest a few days before my first child was born. We were lucky he was in the hospital at the time. I feel so blessed we have still had him around for the last 14 years! Cherish the moments you have.

  • Erin @ Big Girl Feats December 18, 2011, 8:57 pm

    So sweet, even though the situation is sad. I’m sorry to hear that your grandfather is not well, and I hope that you are able to take strength in the fact that you’re able to be with him. My great uncle just turned 102 in October and he remembers all these crazy things too. He had to have his wife sign a permission form for him to go into WWII because he was too old! It’s really amazing to be able to have family members that live that long and be part of your life for such a long time. I’m still amazed that my boyfriend has all 4 grandparents living. Thinking of you!

  • Amber @ Bold, Busy, Blessed December 18, 2011, 9:26 pm

    Crazy to think how strange everything happening right now will seem when we’re telling our grandkids years from now… “I remember when some people didn’t have the internet on their phones.”

    I’m glad you got to spend some time with him this weekend. Thinking of you.

  • Dominique December 18, 2011, 11:15 pm

    You’re really lucky to have your grandpa still around. My paternal grandparents passed away when I was 8. I knew them but not that well; I didn’t get to hear any of their great stories.

    Sean’s paternal grandmother is 94 or 95, I can’t remember. She’s still doing great at her age but a hip surgery (from falling on ice on a sidewalk that someone did not shovel–argh!) put her and her sister in a nursing home. It’s not the most ideal situation as I don’t get to see them anymore but I’m glad they’re still around. They’re both a hoot too.

    Take the time you do have now to enjoy every moment you can with your grandpa. As I age, I realize it’s important to spend more time to my parents, just listening to them, hearing their stories from when they were kids.

  • E December 19, 2011, 3:11 am

    I hope that Grandpa is doing better very soon & am glad you still have him in your life. I never knew my grandparents on my dad’s side or my grandpa on my mom’s side. My mom’s mom died 7 years ago when I was in college & I still miss her. My maternal great grandmother was with us until she was 100 (I was a junior in high school when she passed away), but also still miss her every day. I didn’t know my paternal great grandfather, but sure wish I had because he was a wonderful man.

  • Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) December 19, 2011, 7:27 am

    You are so right, it is very hard to watch grandparents and loved ones in general get older, more feeble, etc. How wonderful that your grandfather has such a sharp memory.

    I have one grandma who has major dementia (can’t remember me after 5 seconds) but her body is in tip top shape. Her husband, my grandpa, has severe Parkinson’s so his body is very frail but his mind is sharp as all get out! Crazy, right?

    My point of hope is knowing that I will see them again someday in heaven. 🙂

  • Kristin December 19, 2011, 7:53 am

    “Prohibition was stupid.” xDD Hilarious.

    It’s really hard to see someone go through that, but amazing that they have so many great memories to share! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family

  • MelanieF December 19, 2011, 9:41 am

    It is definitely hard to watch somoene get older and go. I only have one grand-mother left, and I recently lost my last grand-father in April. It was sad, but I was also happy that he had a wonderful life and that he lived to be 88 years old. And he left us with so many great memories to cherrish. Hang in there.

  • Allison December 19, 2011, 10:37 am

    There’s always a bright side, as hard as it may be to see, it’s there…

  • Emily December 19, 2011, 1:00 pm

    Well, I think he’s right. Prohibition WAS stupid! *winks*

  • Lisa December 19, 2011, 1:26 pm

    It definitely sucks. My grandma just celebrated her 90th birthday. She’s doing really good but I see some of her mental faculties slipping. I guess that’s normal. I just don’t want anything to happen to her!

  • Mac December 19, 2011, 2:07 pm

    I love hearing grandparent stories, especially when it involves things like prices and such that can be compared to now days! I had a guy tell me, who was probably about 70, that he remembers a time when a tap beer was 5 cents… where’d those days go lol!

  • healthy ashley December 19, 2011, 4:18 pm


  • faith December 19, 2011, 5:28 pm

    I know exactly what you mean, I made a quick trip to FL over the weekend to see my grandparents too. They are amazing and I am very grateful to still have them in my life (I’m 30 they are 90 and 93). On the other hand, it’s insanely hard to see their bodies and minds starting to fail them.
    I love the list of things your grandpa told you, especially the last one!

  • Angela December 20, 2011, 7:31 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear about your Grandpa. 🙁 It’s never easy to deal with no matter when or why it happens. My Grandpa is struggling again with another cancer set back. He was doing so well all summer and now things have taken a turn again, almost one year to the day of his diagnosis. It’s a scary thing to think about someone you love so much not being there one day. I’m so happy that you are able to visit with him. 🙂 You will be able to hold onto those precious moments forever.
    Oh and the ‘probation was stupid’ comment was hilarious! Grandpas got an edge 😉

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