Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Old Grandpa

       Well this will be my last Florida post, and for me the saddest.  I never really knew my grandfather growing up.   I didn't get to know him until I moved to Florida.   Grandpa was 85 at the time.   I would go over to visit and we would make dinner or lunch together.   Sometimes I would visit 2 or more times a week.   I loved getting to know him.   We talked about family and gardening but mostly about cooking.    We would sit and read cookbooks for hours.   We both have an addiction to cookbooks that's hard for most people to understand.   I really loved getting to know him.    We became very close while I was there. 
       When Annie's dad left me in Florida he was there for me.   I was pregnant and scared to death.   He took me in and listened to my crying for hours.   He tried to cheer me up by having a "pizza party," (his words).   It was a disaster, pizza is not his forte', but he really tried.   I don't think I've laughed so hard since.   Looking back I wonder if that was his goal the whole time.    I stayed with him for a week before coming home to St. Louis.   He sent me packing with a cookbook and a promise that I would come back to see him.   It was really hard to leave.
      Since then I had gone back to visit him once.   I took Annie to meet him.   I was shocked to see how he was with her.   He is not the smiling, warm and fuzzy type, but with her he just lit up.   He would put her on his walker and take her for rides around the house.    She was two at the time and thought it was great.  Annie would do his exercises with him, and they would walk through his garden.   She really loved spending time with him.   She called him "old Grandpa,"  and he would just laugh and say "that's right I'm old."  
     This trip when we got to Florida Annie wanted to go straight to "old Grandpa's."   She was really upset that he wasn't in his house.   When we got to the hospital he smiled when he saw me walk in, but he about jumped out of bed when he saw Annie was with me.    He tried to reach over and give Annie a hug.    Which of coarse made me cry.     Annie immediately climbed onto the hospital bed with him and started telling grandpa all about her plane ride and that he had to get better because he needs to be in his house.    She held his hand and sat next to him for about an hour.    Asking him questions like why he had a straw in his nose, and when do we eat (she really loves his cooking).
      This man was a complete stranger to me when I moved to Florida, and now I hate to think of him not being around.     His Parkinson's has gotten to the point that he won't be getting better, and it was really hard to come home knowing I might not see him again.     Saying goodbye was one of the hardest things I've done in a long time, and I hope he knows that he is loved and we are praying for him.     Annie and I miss Old Grandpa already.    


Kim Janous said...

What a beautiful way to describe your Grandpa and your time with him. I loved reading this...thank you.


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