Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year, Mr. V.

Two-thousand-ten or twenty-ten? Neither one sounds natural yet. How is it possible that we are already ten years into this century, this millennium?

In ten days my grandfather will turn 91. When he was my age, his childhood home still didn't have indoor plumbing. His parents didn't get that until the 1960's. He was a teacher, and later a principal, in the days when schools didn't have any computers in them, not even in the offices. Now at 90 and 89, he and my grandmother are still doing for themselves, driving, shopping, cooking (a little). They have people come to clean their enormous house and mow the lawn. But they are getting old. They are old. Grandpa especially is tired and sore all the time. He has a nerve condition that makes him feel cold even when he is not. Can you imagine feeling cold all the time? Even when your house is too warm to be comfortable to other people? I think I would be grumpy too. He's always been grumpy though, bless him, that's who he is. He says he doesn't know why he's still alive, and I tell him I'm glad that he is. But I do hate for him to hurt.

I have been so blessed to be close to my grandparents for nearly all my life, as long as I can remember -- since my mom and I moved down to California from Oregon when I was three. And now my kids are close to their grandparents and great-grandparents and I am so grateful, so glad, so appreciative of that.

I dreamed once that I was driving to my grandparent's house and suddenly my car lifted up off of the road. Kind of like that last scene in Grease when Danny and Sandy's car takes off flying. But in my dream it wasn't a happy feeling. I felt fearful and lost. It didn't take much for me to realize that the dream was about how lost I will be when they are gone. When they aren't there to go to anymore.

Enough of that... I said he was grumpy, and he is, a lot of the time. But babies make him happy. Babies have always made him happy.

My grandpa holding my mother, circa 1950, Compton, CA.
She is her father's daughter.

My grandpa with my cousin Jen, circa 1985, Brea, CA.
Shit, maybe it's Dave in 1981. I don't know. I think it's Jen.
Update: It is Jen! That's Northridge, CA.

* Mr. V. was grandpa's nickname when he was principal because his last name is Slovenian and damn hard for kids to say.


Ms. Moon said...

Ahhh. You ARE lucky.

adrienne said...

we didn't even know our grandparents. how sweet, mama.

Bethany said...

What a sweet post.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

I would hate to be cold all the time. Shit, that sucks. Poor Gramps.