May 19, 2005

Opa & Oma

Let me start off by telling you that Sander and I saw this movie called 'the Notebook' last night, and we think everyone should go see it! It's really sweet (warning to all guy guys: it is quite the chick-flick, so only see it if you think you're man enough to handle that ;).
Allright, now I have that out of the way let me get down to business: our adventures of the past couple of days. Let's see. Oh yeah...
Sander and Dad went to the Lidl (a supercheap, superhuge and supermessy supermarket) and brought home enough basic stuff to keep all 5 of us alive for at least a month. They're not too fond of grocery shopping so they like to minimise the amount of trips to the bare minimum by really stocking up when they do go.
The blinds in Lara's room are up and I'm noticing a major difference: it is now 8:20am and she still has not made a sound! (She used to wake up around 6:30am!) THANK YOU DAD!!
Mom and I went to pick up opa and oma's dirty laundry and visit with them last night. These visits are always quite the experience. Perhaps this would be a good place to insert the introductionary news about my grandparents....
January 2004, 60th wedding anniversary Posted by Hello
Opa: Ever since opa and oma moved over to the 'Dreeshuis' (the home they're living and being nursed in) we've noticed major changes in him. His mind and memory are not what they used to be. This makes for funny stories every time we talk to him. Some examples:
He believes that oma and he are taken to Dordrecht (a Dutch city south of Rotterdam) each morning to be washed and clothed, after which they're magically returned to Den Haag to have their breakfast and enjoy the rest of the day. He often remembers having visitors at night who crawl into bed with him and take up all of his space. These visitors range from the nursing staff to his deceased parents. He also talks about sometimes sleeping 'above his room'. He goes there via a special hallway that leads upwards, and he really likes it because there's a lot of people there who don't mind if he just stays in bed.
What makes it extra strange to talk to him is that everything else that comes out of his mouth sounds very rational, like the 'old' opa we've always known. We think he just has dreams that he remembers as actual events.
It's a good thing he isn't oma's sole caretaker anymore, because the staff catch him doing things like trying to stuff his own false teeth into her mouth, or cancelling her much needed appointments at the hair-dresser.
All in all he's still good ol' opa. He's so sweet and funny. He loves Lara to death and plays with her to his best ability whenever I bring her over. He's always really excited to hear from or about Mike and Marissa, whom he really misses.

Oma: In contrast to opa, who's personality is still very much there the way we remember it, oma has changed a lot. This is mainly due to the fact that it's near impossible for her to form sentences, or even think of single words. Pretty much the only reaction we get from her is a lengthy 'Jaaaaa' (yeeeeees) or 'Neeeeeee' (nooooo) when we ask her a question. Often times she'll even say yes when she means no, and vice versa. Quite confusing for everyone around her, and very frustrating to opa. He really misses being able to talk to her. She's also gone a little deaf, and his voice often just isn't on her 'frequency'.
All the nurses in the home think oma is the cutest thing and they all take really good care of her, which is hard when she absolutely refuses to eat or drink some days. The only thing she loves to drink is coffee... which they just keep putting in front of her even though we've told them many times that she doesn't drink coffee or tea. She doesn't know what's going on though, so she won't be held accountable.
Anyway, we visit them as often as we can, and do their laundry for them. They also regularly get visits from church-members, which they really enjoy. All in all they continue to hang in there!

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