First - I want to thank you all SO MUCH for your wonderful comments. It is such a blessing to have such caring friends. THANK YOU.
My grandfather's real name is Albert, but I've always known him as Shorty. I asked him one time why he has such a nickname and he said it is because he was the youngest of all nine children (his parents emigrated to American from Italy shortly after they were married and all nine children were born in America) and he was rather sick as a child, and didn't grow as tall as they thought he should at that age. Thus, the nickname "Shorty" was born.
I arrived yesterday at the hospital and went to see him in the critical care unit. He was asleep and I nearly lost it just looking at him. I so hate to see him this way, a mere shadow of his former, vibrant self that I remember so well from childhood. When he woke up, he asked to see my daughter and I. Molly is only five so it was rather scary for her to see him with the tubes trailing across his face and body, and she didn't stay long. He seemed to drift in and out of a state of reality.
I'm not very confident in the doctors at this point. Grandpa is so weak that I don't know if he would be able to survive any surgery.
My dad called me this morning and said that Grandpa was better today. A few of the tubes have been removed and he's more coherent.
At this point, it's touch and go. He's so weak that I don't know if any treatment for whatever ails him would do any good. And that's the thing - they're not quite sure what ails him. That is the toughest part of all to deal with.
Anyway, I'm at the city library right now and thought I'd pop in for a moment to let you know how things are. The drive wasn't too bad - just my daughter and I across the long, flat state of Nebraska. I'm very glad I brought her because my grandfather kept wanting to see her. He's always completely adored her.
I did manage to make use of the drive to do a bit of plot work on my novel. It's such a long stretch of highway - pretty much 400 mile straight line - that you need to do something to keep you occupied, otherwise you'll shrivel up from boredom.
Hope all of you have a wonderful weekend!
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