Tribute

His laugh, low and husky, always makes me smile.  Not a man to rush, he enjoys the moments of his life, no matter how big or small.  ‘Things have a way of working themselves out,” he always tells me.

For a little northern California girl, Los Angeles is a city of magic.  PSA shuttles me to Burbank during the summer, never disappointing my expectations.  The burgundy Buick feels slow and safe, just what a small granddaughter needs to feel welcomed in the big city.  The short drive to Sherman Oaks holds the anticipation of Christmas morning at the end of the road.  Down one endless avenue to the next, right up to the little yellow house.  His strong hand reaches for mine across the beige upholstery.

The radio in the front bedroom quietly broadcasts the latest news as Nanook the Husky softly nuzzles my welcome.  Push up pops appear from the freezer.  The bullfighter still graces the bedroom wall.  Joan of Arc gazes from her perch.  The bean bag offers a nest to sink into.

He slows down with time, his feet shuffling down the street and heavy on the pedal.  My turn to drive now.  Eyeglasses no longer slip from their case tucked into his breast pocket.  My turn to read aloud the news.  Clarence Thomas on the front page evokes his sense of morality, long honed through years in the legal profession.  His hands strong, skin thin, grasp mine gently across the kitchen table.  I settle into the moss green upholstery, trying to plant myself in the moments I know are few to come.  The clock talks to him now, announcing the loss of minutes left to spend together.  “Go, Abuela, I’ll stay here,”  I urge, clamoring for another precious moment.
Later that night, strains of ‘Gone With The Wind’ float through the apartment.  The phone rings in the dark.  ‘Please come,’  the voice pleads.  ‘He’s gone.’

We arrive in the darkness.  More stoic unsettled, she draws the long silver Cartagena scissors to tenderly snip a lock of his hair.  So still.  The tears flow silently, slowly.

His hands clasp in tranquility.  I slump to his side, tenderly kiss his cheek.  No rush now. He has enjoyed the moments of his life.  I savor this last one we spend together.  Somehow, I know things have a way of working themselves out.

EC Writes

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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12 thoughts on “Tribute

  1. aliciamarie911 says:

    I remember when my grandfather died. We prayed that he would hang on just for one more fathers day. Fathers day rolled around and he was better than he had been in a year. We knew the Lord had answered our prayers. My husband and I had stayed at the hospital with my grandma that night while everyone else, feeling satisfied that my grandpa lived for another fathers day, left. During our sleep in the family waiting room, my grandfather had taken a turn for the worst, and within an hour of getting the call, he was gone.

    Your post brought back so many wonderful memories of me and my “poppie.” Thank you for sharing.

    Also, I am now your newest follower. You hooked me!

  2. Soledad says:

    Thanks for this tribute J. I remember the drive up that night, from San Diego, with Ellie. We hardly spoke – neither of us had the vocabulary for this event – even tho we knew it was coming.
    I was so grateful that you were there when we arrived. Your calm reserve was just the buffer I needed before going in to keep my mother company and hold his hand for the last time.

  3. mamawolfe says:

    Hi AliciaMarie, Thank you for your touching comment. I’m glad you have those memories to fall back on.
    Soledad-You’re welcome. It was one of the most powerful moments of my life.
    Elisabeth~Thank you. I’m so glad we’ve gotten to know each other.
    Inner Chick~It is a beautiful memory, sadness and all. Thank you.

  4. Michael Ann says:

    That was beautiful, Jennifer, and yes it choked me up. It was so loving and sweet. And thinking of our once strong grandparents becoming so frail and child-like again. It’s been years since my last grandparents passed away. It still seems strange to not have them here.

  5. lisa says:

    This brought tears to my eyes. My Papa (what I called my grandfather) and I also had a very special relationship. He was like a 2nd father to me and even after almost 10 years I still miss him very much. Thank you for sharing this with us, it was beautiful.

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