Grandpa on 2 Summer DaysPosted on Sat,Jun.23rd,2007 at 12:02
I feel mostly: ripe
What do I hear?: fans whirring warm air around my head
I had two moments with my Grandpa I don't want to forget. I was around him without trying to plan it. He has actually sought to spend time with me on purpose the past two visits to Grandma's house.
So here I am, wanting to feel the type of love that only comes by the act of being pursued when it comes to me in the most unexpected embodiment...Grandpa! But why not my PawPaw? It is as if his unconscious knew that I was craving attention, needing to spend quality time with someone who just wants to be around me for the sake of my company. Grandpa, a someone who only wants good for me and has no alterior motives, is ideal. Now I can refer to these days and have a comparison for simplistic companionship.
All during our time together, because he is in his 80's, of course, the grey thought of dying is on the fringes of my mind. I see his long nails, his faltering movements.
What sort of activity does Grandpa seek with me? Well, I needed the weedeater Momma gave to me (it was over there and I had to pick it up), but it broke while he was showing me how to start it. Instead of sending me home with a broken down weedeater, he opted to work with me to fix it. Even though I needed to get home to bake my little girl's Birthday cake with her, I knew it was my only chance.
Feeling very much like a single mommie, I was helping him, holding the machine still, fitting the drill to the screws, and simulating other small manuvers his aged hands could no longer manage. The darn thing never was fixable then. It wasn't even my purpose to fix it at all anyway. I would just buy a new one I kept thinking. By the time it was back together again and still broken, I saw the material value of what it would have been if we had succeeded. His tools were a bit rusted, fishing lures hung on the tack board. Once he shot a pesky wasp with a dose of his lubricant through the long red arm attached to the spray can. Today, Grandpa made me spiritually fixable, taught me how to be patient and do what needs to be done with mechanical determination unto the last moment.
The next day, I wanted to pick some blueberries after swimming with my kids in my Aunt's pool. The bushes are in the back yard at Grandma's so I went over there. During the summers, at least one day, I use some time to pick blueberries for cooking. After a bit of the late afternoon spent with me clammering through limbs and climbing up a little step ladder, Grandpa came outside to hold down the high branches for me so that I could get those big plump berries on the tops of the bushes. He was so patient, insured that I went home with the best berries on the trees. I have no Father. Death. Today, Grandpa is standing beside me and I can smell him like an old green paint-chipped skiff that has basked dry on many a summer day after rolling over the brackish brown waters of Mississippi rivers.