It's 3a.m on a early Monday morning, my paw paw just asked me if i have a key ring he can use. A key ring for him to put a key that he doesn't have, to a car that he hasn't owned for 10+ years. He says we have to get it together so we can "get some shit done tomorrow". I lie, at this point i've learned it's easier that way. I could tell him the truth, and reopen a wound he forgot he had. Or I can lie, and for a minute this train can slow down on its way off the rails.
This is who he is now, the most simplistic task is a struggle in his daly life. At this point myself and the ones still left around him have come to terms with this new lifestyle. But he hasn't, not by choice, he just doesn't know when it happened. He forgot that he's aged, he doesn't remember when he got old.
It depends on the day, somedays I have my grandpa who responds to everything with a smart ass comment. Somedays nothingness floats around him like a ghost, I look into his eyes and they are empty. Other days are a mixture of both which are the worst for me, and him. Because he is there mentally but his body won't respond, he's in a car that he can no longer control. It doesn't have a certain day or time it happens, it just comes along, each time taking more of his mind and leaving behind small broken chunks.
One of my favorite memories are when I slept in his living room as a kid on a pull out mattress. Me and my cousin rough housing when we were supposed to be sleeping. Him yelling down from the pitch black bedroom that we better go to bed or some asses will be torn up. Trying to hold back laughter,as we tossed random questions back to him about breakfast in the morning. "Love you paw paw" echoed through a hall engulfed by the night.
He just told me we are gonna catch some "good fat stripes tomorrow, they got big ones down here". Im not sure who he thinks I am, or where he thinks were at, it doesn't matter to me as long as he's there. A small tear runs down my face as I start on whatever path this conversation may venture. His tone is eager, words are clear, he almost sounds excited for a day that I assume he's already lived. For a minute I hear the youth in his voice as my grandpa's words carry out into the light, if I close my eyes I can almost picture being back in that living room, talking in the dark.