Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Yes, I know, I said I was bursting with much to say about the Moon and Spring, and I still am, but since writing that, well, it has seemed more like winter with moonless nights. For days now there has been so much cloud cover that I missed the Super Moon, in fact, I haven’t seen the moon since Thursday evening. Please don’t take this as a complaint, although, I would have immensely  enjoyed the ‘once in about every 18 year’ celestial event, as I said in my last post, every full Moon is super to me, every phase sweet Luna passes through, I adore.
Also, I found it difficult to assemble the words for Ostara, the Spring Equinox, as what I felt and still feel isn’t really what’s going on outside. Again, I’m not complaining, as I understand the maiden of Spring does, on occasion, have a frosty attitude and allows snow to fall, and while I know the promise which lays below a white blanket, my attitude has been more fixed on warmth and sunshine for her (Spring’s) opening day. From the picture below, you can see what I mean but also, that the sun is begining to emerge. So, with this in mind, I’m sure the time will come and the words for these two subjects will form, until then, I do have something else to write about.

There is a group of ladies from our little country town, who, for whatever reason, are single or alone, which get together on Monday evenings. We watch a movie, eat, laugh, chit-chat about various topics; we like keeping it so simple. Last night we gathered at my house. I decided to have an open discussion about service. Our eyes welled with tears as each of these beautiful women shared a tender story of how they were impacted by generous acts of service and what life lessons they learned from being recipients of such generosity. We acknowledged how some people provide service through their jobs as one of the ladies does through her profession of caring for the elderly. I admire her ability to help those who can no longer perform basic, needful tasks such as bathing themselves. Yet, this sweet woman, among other tasks, is able bathe her elderly patients with patience and dignity. Not everyone, including myself, is able to do such a thoughtful act. I wish I could write about the stories these women told last night, but they are not mine to tell, however, I do have one of my own.
With all the events in my life over the past 15 years I have many, many, amazing stories of selfless acts of service provided to my family and me. I’m sure over the course of this, my 49th year journey, I will write several of them for they are all worthy of journaling, but this is the one which emerged when thinking of last evening’s topic.
My maternal grandparents, while not real lovey-dovey with each other or any of us, were constant companions. Residing in Las Vegas, they enjoyed playing penny slots, eating at the buffets, or simply staying home, sipping coffee and having conversation about their 50 plus years together. The last year or so of my grandmother’s life was incredibly difficult for Grandpa. After her passing he became so  very lonely. Living next door to my parents helped and my sister and I would pop in often to check on him, but bringing our kiddos drove both Grandpa and kids kind of crazy, so we never stayed long.
One image of coming into his home, after Grandma’s death, I have imbedded in my mind, is seeing him sitting in his recliner. No television or radio on unless it was basketball season, no newspaper or magazine on his lap but a pile of them next to his recliner, the blinds almost but not quite shut; Grandpa sitting there seemingly in thought, or not. On the wall, above his recliner, was a sunburst clock. You remember the ones from 70’s. They were battery operated, brassy, over sized with narrow sharp sun beams extending out from the round clock face. This one, in particular, was quite loud. Or maybe it was the setting of Grandpa’s living room which made the clock’s sound so much more magnified. There he’d sit, the room lacking sunlight, in his recliner under the sunburst clock as if waiting, anxious for the days, the hours to tick by. Tick Tock Tick Tock Tick…
Now before this becomes solidified in your mind, Grandpa also, every morning, before sitting in his recliner under the sunburst clock, would go to one of the neighborhood casinos for breakfast; every morning like clockwork (yes, pun intended). The only thing that disrupted his day of breakfast and sitting in his recliner under the clock was me.
Grandma passed away about a year prior to my accident in ’97. Grandpa once said to me, “It’s a good thing Grandma died before your accident because seeing you this way would have surely killed her.” My grandfather, from the morning following my accident, was by far, my most vigilant visitor. In the trauma unit there wasn’t much anyone could do except sit and watch me and this Grandpa did quite well.
When I was moved from the trauma unit to the burn care unit, he added to his visiting routine. Upon his arrival, while greeting me, he prepared a tray. On this tray he had a very welcoming warm washcloth, a towel, a cup of clean water, an empty cup, and my toothbrush, moistened and with the most proper amount of toothpaste. Standing alongside my bed he first offered the washcloth, which was amazingly wonderful and refreshing to my face each morning. Sometimes I’d think as I pulled the washcloth from my face that I’d wake up and none of this was real. Oh, but real it was. He’d take the washcloth from me and then hand me my toothbrush. Keep in mind I’m drugged, wonderfully drugged, so I’m kind of sloppy and slobbery but he never seemed to mind taking my disgusting toothbrush and then handing me the cup of clean water to rinse. I never had to wait for my spit cup either, which he held for me every morning. I can’t imagine; he already had my drool on him from my toothbrush, how many times did I miss the spit cup or just over sprayed onto his hand. I’ll never know and I’ll never know if this grossed him out, because he never seemed to mind, he so attentively prepared, assisted, and cleaned up; he willingly received my slobbery toothbrush and held my spit cup.
As I’m sure you can tell, Grandpa was very punctual; only one day was he late. When he arrived, I noticed he was a bit flustered, but not deterred from preparing my tray. He also had several band aids on his arms and walked with a slight limb. “What happened?” I asked.
“Oh, this damn old lady ran me over with her electric wheelchair in the casino parking lot. I had to go report her to security.” He said with agitation. He continued to mumble but the incident was all but forgotten when he came bedside, tray in hand.
I hope Grandpa knew then and knows now, today, on the other side, how grateful I am for his tender, generous, punctual act of service. I think Jeff would have been this kind of grandpa, minus the punctual part. Maybe your grandpa was to; maybe your grandpa is. If so, take a moment today and acknowledge him. Give thanks for grandpas. Or, simply just give thanks.

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