Thanks for your kind emails.
The Countertop Family made a trip to see Grandma Countertop (eer, Great Grandma Countertop for at least one of us) yesterday.
Over the past couple of weeks she has fallen into pretty bad health, but I didn't realize this until I recieved my birthday card from her where she said she had been in the hospital for the last ten days. Why no one told me, I don't know. She had actually gone home, but over the weekend fell down and was put back in the hospital.
Anyway, the initial diagnosis was that she had some liver problems. Whats most troubling to me though is her mental deterioration. She's always had a particularly sharp wit about her, been in excellent health, looked like she was 65 instead of 85 and has been 100% independent since divorcing my grandfather 30 years ago (she's never been one to hold back her feelings about him either . . . . which can lead to some awkward yet in hindsight very funny situations). Yesterday, she looked like she was 100. My wife thinks she had a stroke. That would be my guess as well, but apparantly the doctors haven't even considered it. Don't know why.
When we arrived she was a little confused as to what was going on, but after a couple of minutes of talking seemed to gain 100% of her facilities back, proudly showing off her great grandson who was running around the rehabilitation facility (she was moved out of the hospital to a nursing home/rehab facility Tuesday evening). We spent a few hours with her yesterday afternoon and then needed to return to DC. She was tired and needed rest, but the look in her eyes as I walked away quickly went to the bottom of my stomach. Its as if she was watching her life vanish before her.
By the time we got back to D.C., she apparantly took a turn for the worse, and was returened to the hospital where I suspect she'll be staying for forseeable future. My dad said she was mentally lost and she didn't recognize either my aunt or uncle. Everyone was shocked to hear how well she did when we were with her.
I'll probably be going back up to visit her again tonite, so blogging will continue to be intermittent. Again, thanks for your concerns.