(If you haven't read yesterday's post, please do. And, please consider donating).
It is my grandfather's 97th birthday today (Monday). We celebrated at his house this evening. As always, there was food and cake and a lot of laughter. Dylan helped him open his gifts, which always makes grandpa laugh. We talked, ate, and played a rowdy game with balloons. I gave my grandpa something I wrote, and it made him cry. This is it...
My Grandfather's Hands
As a kid, I used to love when my grandpa would take my hand. I loved the way my tiny hand felt in his big, rough one. As I got older, I would look at his hands, and think of all the things those hands had done. I pictured those hands working day after day alongside my great grandfather to build the home that he still lives in. I pictured those hands tending the big garden he grew in the backyard. I pictured them holding my mom and my aunt when they were kids, after his very long, tiring days at work.
Now, when I look at my grandpa's hands, I think of all the games that he played with me and my cousins - T-ball, Uno, Mr. Mouth, Ping Pong, and Chinese Checkers. I think of those hands so frequently reaching into his pocket for his handkerchief, to wipe his eyes, since he always laughs until he cries.
I think of the way in so many pictures I have of my grandparents, my grandpa's hand is resting lovingly on my grandma's shoulder - her protector. I think of the one and only time I saw my grandfather cry (before my grandma died). The doctor told him that he needed to go to the hospital, and he wiped away a few tears with those big, strong hands, telling her that he needed to stay and take care of my grandma.
My grandfather's hands tell a story, not only of all of these things, but of the man he was and continues to be. A man to admire. A man to respect. A man to love.
I love you, Grandpa. Happy 97th Birthday!