Grandpa

I went to visit Grandpa tonight. Well, first I baked some stuffed shells and cheese bread, and made some meatballs and chicken stir fry with rice and then packaged it up along with some “Strawberry Peach Angel Delight” and brought it all over for Grandpa’s freezer and fridge.

He doesn’t really need me to do that anymore, now that my Uncle ordered him Meals on Wheels, but everyone, including Grandpa, knows those meals are like hospital food. Mass produced. Intended to satisfy all types, which means little flavor or spice.

“The meals you bring me are much better,” he tells me, and I hope he’s not just being nice because I make those meals for him with love, I really do. Sometimes I plan the whole menu for the week based on what I want to bring to Grandpa. My Grandpa is a very good cook, so I like to make him good food I know he will appreciate.

It’s hard to visit Grandpa these days. He has a hard time hearing, you really have to yell, so keeping up conversation is not that easy.

He asked me about the cranes, so I showed him this year’s baby pictures and then also the deer and turkeys and raccoons and ducks.

Then we settled in and watched a baseball game together.

It’s hard to visit Grandpa because he’s getting so old, too. He’s frail and his teeth have almost all fallen out. To even look at him gives me a pain in my heart.

Grandpa has Parkinson’s, and a degenerative back disorder causing him a lot of pain in his legs, for years now, and also a very slow growing cancer throughout his torso that he’s only received the minimum treatment for.

He’s not allowed to drive anymore, but my dad still takes him grocery shopping once a week, and he still goes. It’s one of the few times he leaves the house.

Last time I visited him he told me about a story he’d read, where someone had been dead for three days before he was found.

“Imagine how terrible that would be?” he said. “Three days!”

“We won’t let that happen, Grandpa,” I reassured him.

He will be 88 this September, if my calculations are right.

What I should do now is write you the beautiful story of my wonderful Grandpa, but I’m a little too sad for that today.

I know it’s only a matter of time, now.

I just want to pretend it isn’t for a little while longer.

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