Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I know you hate this!

When you were younger, you built a house of your own design with your own hands for your family.  In later years, I watched in awe as you rebuilt the kitchen, and I questioned how you knew how to do it.  You answered all of my numerous questions, you always did. When I was a small child, you built us a go-cart out of plywood and pushed my brother and I around the back patio until we, not you, tired.  You used to let us sit on your back while you swam countless laps in the pool.  You taught me advanced algebra when I was in junior high school. You were my young, healthy grandparent.  You seemed invincible to me.

In more recent years, you showed me an article on the 50 worldwide destinations an avid traveler should go to. You had been to 36 of them.  You told me stories of each. You recounted the numerous books you had read and why you enjoyed them. A few months ago, we sat around your most recent large jigsaw puzzle and you told me about going to the Chicago World Fair on your way out to Annapolis to start at the Naval Academy.  You told me about dropping out of the Naval Academy to marry the love of your life.  You’ve told me other stories too. You have lived a long and adventurous life.

Yesterday I visited you in a hospital room, you can barely move, you can’t speak, but you held my hand.  You opened your once beautiful, clear blue eyes that are now cloudy and unfocused.  You didn’t see me, but I saw you. You probably don’t know what has happened to you. You who have always been so proud and strong willed, lie in a hospital bed.  My heart aches to see you like this. I know you hate it too.

To me you will always be the Johnny of my childhood.  I love you!

13 comments:

rlbates said...

My heart aches with you.

the slackmistress said...

xoxo

Jabulani said...

In February, my 92 year-old grandmother died. She'd been succumbing to Alzheimers for 10 years. It was horrible watching a feisty, staunchly independent, capable person melt away. 5 years ago she forgot who I was, and I became a stranger to her. I have a picture of her taken on her 86th birthday. She is smiling and still physically fit. This is how I want to remember her, rather than how I last saw her.
You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

Been there too with my grandmother... great post Lisa!

LisaD

Anonymous said...

Dear Lisa:
My heart aches for all of your family.
I met your grandfather 61 years ago when your mother and I were in second grade. I spent almost as much time at your grandparents' home as I did at my own home.
Last November I visited Johnny and he was delightful. I will remember him with love.
Mary Jane

Lisa said...

Thank you all!
XOXO
Lisa

Anonymous said...

Lisa, Thank you so much for stating the wonders of Johnny so clearly. It is wonderful. Love, Mom and Dad

Anonymous said...

Lisa, my heart aches for you, your mom, and Johnny.

Love always,
JulieW

JaxMom said...

Lisa -

I will pray for comfort for Johnny, your mom, and your entire family.

And will always remember the 'Who's Johnny' song and the picture of him on your bookself.

Hang in there, my friend.

Suz

Kathleen said...

I have great memories of Johnny. All my love - Kathleen

Mary Watson said...

Lisa,

Beautiful, how lucky Johnny is to have a wonderful grand daughter who cherishes those great memories. You are a reminder of those memories every time you see him.

Lisa said...

My friends, family, internet friends Thanks for your support.

L

Anonymous said...

Lisa, this is so beautiful and brought me chills! Thank you for giving us some insight on what an amazing man he is!

Stacie