Grandpa Dean

For those of you who know my family, my Grandpa Dean is not doing well. He hasn’t eaten since Friday morning and it’s now Sunday night. Please keep him, my dad and Grandma Wynema in your thoughts and prayers. Although from what I’m told, it looks like he only has a few more days with us, but who knows. He has a DNR up on the fridge.

The last time we were up to visit was  for Father’s Day as a surprise. Laelia loved  Grandpa Dean  a lot and played with his feet. He seemed to light up around her too. I wish my camera had not been stolen or I’d have some pictures of that trip!

My dad’s side of the family had this  tradition of going by their middle names; a tradition that looks to have ended with my generation. So all my life it was “Grandpa Dean” although his real  name is Ira. (Dad’s real  name is Stephen but I didn’t know that for many years. Heck, Grandma Wynema’s real name is Twila, which was a competing baby name for a while until we settled on Laelia.) So combine that tradition with my mom’s insistence that we call all grandparents  by their title then their  first or middle  name (i.e. “Grandma Lucy” or now “Grandma Christina”) and you have “Grandpa Dean,” said with as much love as “G’pa” or “Papa” or what have you.  

Of course getting Laelia to say “Grandpa Dean” is more difficult. We were talking about him and she did say “Gapa.” That’s about as close as we’re going to get. :)

My dad was worried about coming down for Laelia’s surgeries because he didn’t want to leave Grandpa Dean for that long.  We were working out worst-case scenarios just a few days ago. Now everything has changed again. It just seems like my family’s  been through enough grief.

Grandpa Dean and Grandma Wynema have helped us out with Laelia’s medical expenses (co-pays and $3-a-trip parking fees really add up for as often as we go) and equipment (splints and her new shoes). If not for them, it would be very tight right now. We appreciate them so much! Often we get phone calls from Grandma moments after we realize we have some need. We have been very blessed.

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First Thanksgiving

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