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".