Country singer Trace Adkins had a hit song in the last few years that was aptly titled You're Gonna Miss This.
The lyrics in the chorus go something like this:
You're gonna miss this...
You're gonna want this back...
You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast...
I was thinking of these lyrics yesterday when my former father-in-law was getting ready to call up 911 to get carried to the hospital, unable to straighten his leg because he was in too much pain.
My son tries to help around his grandparent's house, but he often just gets irritated at how demanding his grandparents, especially his grandfather, can be. It's true that his grandfather can be awfully demanding. He was a former bureaucrat, having worked his way to upper management. He's used to giving orders and having them followed and even if he'd never been a manager, I suspect, because of his personality, that he'd have been one to give orders and push people around.
My son takes after his grandfather in more ways than he'd ever care to admit, plus, well, he's got my mom's genes in him as well and it makes for a potent combination. Easily irritated, somewhat selfish, somewhat paranoid, attention deficit, etc. Put together with his grandfather it's somewhat like putting a match to gasoline, or at least it can be at times.
Given the old fellow's age, and his medical condition, he likely isn't much longer for this world, but I've said and thought that for a while and well before my wife was killed she thought it as well. I think in many ways the old man would like it all to be over with so he wouldn't have to suffer any more and wouldn't be a burden on anyone else any more, but he does have enough fighting spirit to avoid OD'ing on pills or in any other taking matters into his own hand. He also refuses to go into a(n old folks) home. He and his wife both, with both of them pointing at the other as the reason they can't move from their home and/or won't go into an assisted living facility, etc.
As bad as things are, I think the words to that song are still very much appropriate. At some point my son and his sister are going to find their grandfather gone and they're going to be sad about it. Despite the irritations that are there now, they're gonna miss their grandfather when he is no longer there. It's sad that we don't often notice things we should and don't often appreciate things we should until it's too late.