Monday, April 8, 2013

Grampa's 89th

Yesterday was my Grampa's 89th birthday.

He's buried two wives, and a daughter.

He's worked his whole life, raised a family, and is now in a wheelchair, in a nursing home.

His hearing and eyesight are just short of deaf and blind, he has trouble remembering people and events, but he's still hanging in there with a smile on his sweet face.

He's not perfect, but he's my Grampa, and I love him.

I had been contemplating going to visit him today, but at the 11th hour decided we would take the kids to see him on his actual birthday. We baked cupcakes (they helped), we made him cards, and got the kids dressed in their matching Easter outfits. We hit the road, Hubs in his truck and the rest of us in mine, since he had to go work for a couple hours last night.

A few miles into the one-hour trip, I noticed the vehicle was driving rough. It felt like I was driving on a flat tire. The whole steering wheel was shaking, and with every gust of wind, it felt like I was going off the road. I hadn't made it anywhere near the 75 mph speed limit.

I pulled over and got out, and watched as Hubs just passed us by. (???!!!???) He called me on his cell phone, and I told him something was wrong, so he turned around.

I was circling my vehicle, checking the tires, when he got back to us.

It was the left rear tire. Not flat, but more egg-shaped. Ovular, even. With a hump in the middle. And a rather wide, long strip of tread gone. The tread was missing on the inside of the tire, where it wasn't really visible while in place. 


No telling how long until it would have shredded, or blown out on me. I'm so thankful it lasted as long as it did, and that I listened to the Still Small Voice that said to pull over. Had I continued, I would most likely have been alone with a baby and a preschooler, trying to change a tire on a one-ton super-duty SUV.

God watches out for us in so many ways, and I am so deeply thankful for His protection yesterday.

Hubs changed the tire, and we continued on our way. So our one-hour trip was closer to two.

Yesterday was the first time Grampa and Carleigh saw each other. I usually visit him with just my dad, because, well... our family is a whooooooole lotta chaos in his little room!

The kiddos gave him their cards and the cupcakes, and I decorated his door... which I forgot to get a picture of. We poured him a cold beer, since he misses them so much. He told me how much he thinks about the other times I've brought him beer and cupcakes. (Side note: I don't know why it's always cupcakes I bring with beer... I really need to figure out a better accompaniment!) We talked for a bit with him, and let the kids talk to him for a while.

We didn't stay long. Again. Mass chaos.

Everybody hugged and kissed him, and told him "Happy birthday!" and then it was time to go.

As we were walking down the hallway, I turned around to wave goodbye, and there was my grampa, still in his wheelchair, following as fast as he could. His wife came up behind him, grabbed his chair, and was almost running, pushing him down the hall towards us.

I asked if everything was okay, and she said, "Yes. He just wants to follow you out, so he can watch y'all as long as he can."

Broke. My. Heart.

Happy birthday, Grampa.

I love you, and I'll be back soon. I promise.

1 comment:

Kim Santoscoy said...

Your Grandpa story is precious. Its so sad that we cant take them home with us huh. The kids are beautiful!!! I cant believe how big theyve grown! We miss you all!!