I spend a few hours every week with my Grandpa. It allows my mom to do things otherwise impossible, like cleaning her carpets and preparing lessons. It's nice for me to spend time with him, even though he sometimes forgets who I am and asks my mom "where this nice lady" is taking him. Grandpa likes to go on rides, and so I usually devise errands for him to accompany me on. Carts that need to be pushed? Doors opened? Bags to be carried? My Grandpa will ask to do it, cane and all, and treat you like a lady.
As you can guess I often haul him off to garden centers, etc. A few times, while picking out seeds, he has stepped forward and pointed to a packet he likes. I told him I would sprout whatever he picked. (Please, sprout!) The first time he picked these... Scarlet O'Hara Morning Glories.
It made me smile. That was one of my Grandma's favorite colors. Not only did she like vivid colors, but she was a vivacious person, full of life, energy, and letters that needed to be sent to ignorant editors. When my Grandma died people at the grocery store where they shopped cried. The postal workers were saddened. The neighbors all called and shared stories. Many people mourned her passing, "Virginia" left her mark on this world, a bright streak, a flash of personality. She passed a few weeks before her ninety-third birthday. My last conversation with her was typical, and delightful. Her final words in this life were "Thank You."
One day I was driving with my Grandpa and he said how much he missed his wife. His intensity and the depth of his utterance made me cry. He looked over surprised, and gave me a smile. (I don't know if he knew I was his granddaughter at the time, or "that nice lady", but it was a nice moment.)
Yesterday, when we were looking at seed packets and agonizing over what to get (or not get) he stepped forward and picked these, Wave Pink Spreading Petunias. The color, was again, my Grandma. I hope she comes for him soon.
I love you, Grandpa. It's a privilege to be in your presence. You are truly a good man, pure in heart, meek, and your heart is set upon the things of eternity. I am excited to grow your flowers.
(Grandpa and Graham, his great grandson)