I'm the kind of person who skips to the conversation when reading a book.

Grampa Ran Over a Garden Hose

“Brandon, could you check in on Grampa when you’re in town?” I asked my second oldest son.

He visits the town where my father lives at least once a week for a class he’s taking.

Over the summer, Finley had lived with my father and worked in the same town.  It was a great arrangement. My father is lonely with my mother in a nursing home.  Sometimes, it’s just nice to have someone sit and watch the Red Sox game on television with you.  And eat a bowl of ice cream before bed. And mow the lawn.

Finley did all those things this summer.  His youthful energy and buoyant spirit was a real joy to my father.

Now, Finley is back home and going to school. I worry about my father.

Brandon answered, “Umm… sure.”

He’s an introvert that makes me look extroverted. If you knew me at all, you would understand what a feat that was.

“I’m not really comfortable there,” he went on. “I know that sounds silly…”  His voice trailed off.

I thought about the quiet way that Brandon talks.  It forces one to really pay attention.

I thought about how hard of hearing my father is these days.  It forces one to speak in an uncomfortably loud voice.

This is probably not a good combination.

But family is family.  We’re supposed to help each other out.

Mowing the lawn was easier 25 years ago.

Mowing the lawn was easier 25 years ago.

“Could you just stop by and offer to mow the lawn or something?” I asked.

“I did that last week,” he said, “but Grampa had tried to mow it himself.  He ran over a garden hose. Uncle Paul had to help him untangle it from the blade.”

“Crud,” I said.

My mind went back to the day when my father-in-law had done a similar thing.  He had run over a storm door that was lying in the yard.  Don’t ask me why a storm door was lying in the yard. That incident, though, was the beginning of the end.  It wasn’t long after that when a medical problem put him into the hospital — an entirely avoidable medical problem, had someone been there to catch it earlier. From the hospital, he went to the nursing home. Then, it was nursing home to grave.

Is this the beginning of the end for my father?

I hope not.

Aging sucks.


Thanks to the Daily Prompt:  Write a six-word story about what you think the future holds for you, and then expand on it in a post.


6 comments on “Grampa Ran Over a Garden Hose

  1. catterel
    September 10, 2013

    Yes, aging sucks. But it doesn’t have to be the beginning of the end – there’s an enormous difference between running over a barn door and a garden hose 🙂 – garden hoses lurk like snakes in the grass, which can’t really be said of barn doors. Fingers crossed.

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This entry was posted on September 10, 2013 by in Family conversation and tagged , , , , , , .

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