Saturday, July 29, 2006

My Granddaddy

“I was holding out till you got here.”

That’s what the ashen, shriveled man that I call my Granddaddy said when we walked into his hospice room.

“Don’t cry,” he told my mom, who was already now in tears. “Everyone has to go someday.”

This wasn’t the kind of honesty I wanted. I wanted him to tell us that he was fine, and that he would be back on his feet in a few days. I knew he wouldn’t get better, I knew that he would be dead in a few days, but I wanted to pretend for just a few minutes.

My Granddaddy has been one of the few constant things in my life. At every stage of my life he’s been there, exactly the same: playing dominoes and Rook, eating boiled peanuts, squeezing my hand in his vice-like grip that could bring me to my knees- even after my body building days. From preschool to senior high, every trip to see him was the same.

My Granddaddy never got any older, as he was already bald and wrinkled from my earliest memory. He only got a little thinner each year.

My Granddaddy used to send us twenty five dollars every month, starting when we were just kids and continued until just a few months ago, when he had to quit his job. And every month, we, as good grandkids (who didn’t want to get grounded), wrote him a thank you letter. Every month, as long as I can remember. It’s hard to comprehend that I’ll never write him another thank-you letter.

My Granddaddy is a Christian (for that is never past tense) and is now with his Savior, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. And this fundamental belief affected every aspect of his life. I remember that once my brothers and I were doing yard work for him when David decided to quit early and watch cartoons. But at the end of the day, Granddaddy paid us all the same- citing the biblical parable of similar events. It wasn’t exactly fair, but neither is grace for that matter.

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