“After he got to see them, the more he got to see them, it was like leaps and bounds," a family member said of his improvement.
Mera and Bowen, aged 3 and 6, have grown up sharing an extremely close bond with their great-grandfather. Ever since they were born, he has been around them almost all the time. In fact, they're almost inseparable.
“They really are best friends…They love to garden together. They love to swing together, to sing together," a family member told Good Morning America.
The kids' great-grandpa, or "pawpaw," as he is lovingly called, even got down to their level and connected with them in a way that took the rest of their family by surprise. He loved rolling on the floor and making them happy. Each milestone the kids achieved seemed like a personal win for him, too.
Overall, he was a very active man who worked out at the gym a few times a week. But, he began having "a little bit of a memory lapse here and there." However, in the fall of 2021, Pawpaw suffered a stroke.
At the same time, he was also diagnosed with dementia, which explains why he was having a hard time recalling the small details.
Eventually, one of the family members decided to explain to the kids what was happening with Pawpaw, since they were worried it would affect the dynamics of the trio. But the family soon realized that their fears were unnecessary because Mera and Bowen still enjoyed their great-grandpa's company. "He isn't worried about all the other stuff, he's only worried about being in the moment, just as the kids are, and that has a lot to do with why they connect so much."
They soon noticed that the caring great-grandpa also focused solely on cherishing the present and strengthening his bond with the kids. “After he got to see them, the more he got to see them, it was like leaps and bounds. I think that kind of brought that to the forefront of his mind of what he had to fight for, and be present for,” they said.
Thanks to Pawpaw's little pals, he soon recovered from the stroke and adjusted to his new condition. Sure, down the lane, his dementia is going to make it hard for them to stay the same as they are right now, but this is a great opportunity for everyone to bond and cherish the time they have together.
"The hardest part is that it won't get better, but at this point, he knows who we are, he knows our names, he knows that he loves us, and that's all that matters."
Cover Image Source: YouTube | Good Morning America