I love Grandpa Bob- I think he's a fascinating man, funny, and one of the most genuine human beings ever to be on earth. At nearly 90 years old, he's got some amazing stories spanning many decades. The things he's seen and experienced are things that I could only imagine.
But it was hard today- he kept asking me the same questions again and again and repeating everything several times. (It got a little frustrating- not him, but the situation. It's hard to imagine what it must feel like to be in a position where you can't see anything and can barely hear anything, then add confusion on top of that. I kept reminding myself that he thought it was the first time he was saying whatever it was, so I wouldn't start saying "Grandpa, you already asked that, remember?") Grandpa has always been there my entire life, and he and I became close over the last seven or eight years, so it's hard to see him in such a state. There is so much he used to be able to do that he isn't able to do anymore- simple things that we (as younger people) often take for granted and never realize that there will come a day when we won't be able to do things we once loved doing (like skydiving, dancing, swimming in the ocean waves, or see the faces and hear the voices of the ones we love). At least, though, he's in good spirits- all he wants is some company and to know his family loves him. I am not sure we tell him enough.
I've looked back over the years at my Grandpa Bob and at Grandpa McCoid (before he passed away at age 101) and thought to myself about how captivating life is. Both of those men led incredible lives, full of adventure, joy, sorrow, good times, love, and every thing else that is part of the human experience. Grandpa Bob used to be a pilot for the USAF- he was actually training in the air when Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941 (age 19). The combination of the two of them, as well as most other elderly people I've come across, inspired a novel I started a couple of years ago. I intend to finish it someday, but I need to completely rework it- my writing as changed so much since I started it (it was actually the first novel I ever started) and it needs A LOT of improvement, but I still like the general story concept. It's about reflecting on life, respecting your elders and appreciating the experience and wisdom they have to offer, and offering what you know to the younger generations. It's very dear to my heart, especially since it was inspired by a grandfather and a great-grandfather I admire greatly.
|Grandpa Bob circa 1944|