Friday, February 13, 2009

Visit With Grandma & Grandpa

Emily and I were privileged to go see Grandma and Grandpa Danes for the weekend. Grandpa had been in the hospital with congestive heart failure, underlying pneumonia, and a mild heart attack. He had been transferred to a rehabilitation center to regain his strength so he could do the basic things to take care of himself. We left early Friday morning and were able to stay until Monday afternoon. When we got there, LaNita and her children were still there at the house, so Emily was able to play with them for a couple of hours before we went to the rehab center.

Allison Vance, Madelyn Vance, Emily, Rosie Vance, Spencer Vance

They did a great job of keeping themselves entertained while we were there at the center.

Grandpa wasn't very happy about having to be in the rehab center and wanted to be home. Needless to say, he was a little grumpy and negative. Emily tried to play the "glad" game with him, but he wasn't too interested. It was sweet because she still remained positive, and she and I were listing things that he could still be glad about, even though he couldn't be at home.

The first night after visiting Dad, Mom and I were pretty tired and hungry, so we stopped at a wonderful restaurant there in Kuna and split a steak dinner special. It was perfect and really hit the spot!

Saturday I woke up to a flat tire on my car, and called AAA. They weren't able to help me, though, because my car has special lugnuts so no one can steal a tire! He didn't have the right lugnut wrench to help me, so I had him pump up the tire and went to Les Schwab where I got two new tires. (I was told they were about the only people in the area with the special wrench I needed.) It all worked out okay. I should mention that about 1 1/2 hours before I got to Kuna the car started shaking at the steering wheel. I knew I didn't have a flat tire and wasn't sure what was wrong. I just kept praying as I drove and was able to get there. It was a blessing I didn't get stuck out in the middle of nowhere with a flat tire, because most likely no one would have been able to help me without the special lugnut tool! We grabbed a bite to eat at Wendy's and strolled through Sam's Club while we were out, and spent the afternoon/evening with Dad.

In addition to helping my mother and visiting my dad, one of my main reasons for going up there was go give my dad a project I had been working on for him. When we were there at Thanksgiving time, he had asked me to put 2 songs his mother had composed, down on paper in note form, since the songs were only in his head. I videotaped him singing the songs and brought the video home. I got busy with the holidays and sending Jordan off on his mission, so it was after Jordan left before I started working on the songs. After hearing about his health, I felt a great urgency to complete the songs for him. I was able to find a computer program that allowed me put the notes onto sheet music and add an accompaniment to the melody my father had sung. The songs are both about a young man going off to war; one leaving his sweetheart, and in the other song, announcing to his mom that he is joining the marines.

Saturday evening I presented him with the songs.

Grandpa Danes checking out the sheet music for his mother's songs

We went down to the dining room where there was a piano, and I was able to play the songs for him. He corrected a note that was wrong, and we made sure the accompaniment sounded the way he thought it should. I asked him to sing with me, but he said he didn't feel like it. I asked him again and let him know how much it would mean to me if he would sing with me. He did join in, and so did Grandma and Emily. It was a special moment to have all of us singing the songs that my grandmother had sung to my dad for so many years, and to have the words and music down on sheet music.

I have a few corrections to make, and Dad wants to get it copywrighted, and then we can, with permission, make copies for family members. I'm grateful I had the opportunity to do this for my Dad and that now the songs will be there to pass on to his posterity.
Just a few more sweet pictures from our visit:

I'm grateful to hear that Grandpa is cooperating more with the nurses at the rehab center and making progress. I know my parents' time is short here, especially with their health conditions. I treasure every moment I am able to be with them. It was a wonderful visit!!


Sarah said...

It sounds like you were able to have a great visit. That is really neat that you could put music to the song. I can't wait to hear it.

Nicia said...

I loved the pictures. He is looking a bit better it seems. That picutre of you and your dad is priceless. You are so beautiful Kathy!! I also loved the one of your mom and your dad together. I'm glad you got the music to him too. That has to be a huge relief and sense of accomplishment. Love you!

Melinda said...

So glad you got to visit with Grandpa. My mom's there now, so at least Grandma and Grandpa have a steady stream of visitors!

I would love to hear the music you got down, and have a copy, too, if I can. Thanks so much!

Grandma Danes said...

I loved all your pictures. Grandpa was doing well when we were there this afternoon. There were a lot of us so he was tired when we left. It is so wonderful to have children coming. I have so appreciated all the company and the help. Grandpa loves it too. He is making progress!

Michelle said...

I can't wait to see the music! I love living closer to family, and getting to learn about our heritage. Sounds like a good visit, even if it was for a not so fun reason.... :-)

Rachel H. said...

My mom told me about this project!!! Now see! You have got amazing talent too!! I could never do what you did! That is just incredible!!

Esther said...

Kathy, you won the bow give a way on my blog. Yeah! I will be getting it to you this week. Congrats!

Amy Martin said...

Emily is so cute. I cannot believe how big she has gotten. I remember holding her when she was just a little girl. And I remember her going through her phase where she would wear nothing but skirts and dresses. She is so much fun and I have missed her and your family.