Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Happy 98th Birthday Pap-Pap

My grandfather turned 98 on January 18th (Tuesday).  NINETY EIGHT!  He went into the hospital on Sunday, with an infection in his foot, so I went to see him there on his birthday.

When I walked into his hospital room, there he was talking to someone (a medical student), laughing and smiling.  He is always talking to someone, laughing, and smiling.  He draws people to him with his stories, his friendly nature, and his positive attitude.

When he saw me he grinned, and exclaimed, "Oh, Jenny!"  Shortly after, my parents arrived, and we all sat for hours, talking and reminiscing as we often do.

When I gave him the card I made him, with a mosaic of photos from various stages in our family, he cried. I don't remember exactly what I wrote, but it was pretty sappy.

When someone is 98, you don't hold anything back.  You tell them how much they mean to you.  You listen more closely to what they have to say.  You look at them, as if you want to memorize exactly how they look right at this moment.  You have more patience with them.  You are filled with love and appreciation for the person they are.  There is an immediacy to your time spent with them.  You know that this time might be the last time - the last chance you get to say "I Love You".

As I drove home, I thought, "Wouldn't it be great if we were always like that, with everyone?"  I shuddered, as I had the thought that really, it is the same with everyone in our lives.  There should be that same immediacy, because we truly don't know how long we have with anyone in our lives.  This time might be the last time.  If we truly grasp the enormity of that fact it is enough to bring us to our knees.  It is enough to make us change the way we view our lives and each day in it.  It is enough to change the way we interact with people.  And, it should.

7 comments:

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

That is a great photo--he looks so happy. 98 is an amazing thing.

Brooke said...

Aww! Happy Birthday to your Pap-Pap! 98 Years Young, that is amazing. And your sentiment is so VERY true. Thanks for the reminder that there are no guarantees.

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

That is so true. If only we treated everyone like they were 98. Amen, Jen!

Driven To Distraction said...

Have I told you lately how wise you are? So many of us (myself included) are guilty of going through life with "Next time . . ." in mind, not realizing that we might not get that chance. Life is precious - whether you get 98 minutes or 98 years!

blue china studio said...

Your grandfather doesn't look 98 years old. Wow.

Such a great post Jen. You are right, we should treat everyone as we would a 98 year old. Thank you for that reminder.

Elissa said...

amen, dear.

and i just sort of have a big ole' crush on your pap-pap! what a darling picture... even in the hospital!

The Girls' Mommy said...

SO in my thoughts right now...