I wanted to make sure Adi and Bay are able to look back and see what big things were going on in their lives when they were just wee ones. So heres a little bit about grampa.
Grampa is sick. He is 87 yrs old and until a few months ago lived completely independent with my gramma in their own house, with a boat, and a bunch of cars,cameras,guns, and other "toys" (including a mini cooper, we never quite understood why he needed this), traveling the world with his wife. He got up and drove himself to the YMCA 6 mornings a week where he worked out for a full hour, riding the bike, walking on the treadmill, lifting weight. He developed adult onset diabetes in his 70's and ever since has carefully watched every bit he put in his mouth. He has had heart problems for years as well, but after numerous by pass surgeries and finally an implantable cardiac device (an internal pace maker and defib), he hasn't had too much trouble. Until a few months ago. He declinded rapidly and was moved from his home on the NC coast to a nursing facility in charlotte, where my parents live, so my mother could take part in his care. Maybe he had been sicker that we thought, but since they lived such an imdependant life for so long, this move took us all by surprise.
Grammpa is the family Patriarch. He always has been, its the kind of man he is. He makes all the decisions not only for his wife, but for the rest of us too. He always does the driving when we are together, he takes us out in his boat, he takes the pictures with his fancy cameras, he took his daughters on a cruise around Greece and Egypt a year ago. He is in charge. and we love him for it. So when all of a sudden his mind slowed down, and body got weak, we all got scared.
When your grandparents are in their late 80's, you have to know that their time in this life is running out. You try to think that its not a sad because they have lived a long life. But suddenly, when it's my grampa coming to a stop, I get sad. It's hard for me to imagine life without him. He is the funniest man I know and since I was just a little girl, I always had a special place in my heart for him. He wasn't the type of grampa who let you sit on his lap as a child and read to us, or played with us or babysat for weekends while our parents went out of town, in fact we might have even referred to him from time to time as (and we meant this with all the love in our hearts) "grumpy grampa".He wasn't like the other grampa, the "jolly, round bellied, huggy"grampa. Frankly, he preferred the company of adults.
But there was alway something else about him, a deep deep love that I knew was in there somewhere.
Grampa walked me down the aisle with dad. And he told me on my wedding day that I was his best friend! I'm not sure why he said it, but I said it back.(and I think we both meant it)
When Adi was born, grampa came to meet her and when I forced her into his arms, he told me it was the first baby he's held (maybe not even before his own children?! seems unlikely, but cute none the less) I managed to snap a photo of them. Not sure who looked more upset.
Back in November mom, Adi and I went to see them on the coast. This was when we realized that a move needed to be done sooner rather than later. I had the pleasure of driving my 87 yr old grampa to the YMCA and work out with him for his last time there. For a few days later he was in route to Charlotte in bad shape. I like to think that he'll be able to move into grammas new apt in the retirement home and get off the full care floor. And that he'll be able to shuffle down to the workout room and pool to excersize.I know he won't, but I hope I'm wrong.
Adi and Bay, I want you two to know what a great great man your great grampa is. Adi, I hope you have more time to get to know him and Bay, I hope you get to meet him.