The Grandfather Passage is a reading passage sometimes used in the field of Speech Therapy, usually with adults. It doesn’t make a ton of sense as a story when read line by line, but is used to assess things like speech fluency and voice. The first line begins “you wish to know all about my grandfather….”
Trips to my grandparents were fairly frequent when I was little. I called them Pap and Precious. Apparently I started calling her precious because she would comment on something I did or said that was precious and so I called her that once and the name stuck. I can’t remember why Pap was Pap but pretty much everyone called him that. When we visited he and I would often take walks to get the newspaper and I’d sometimes get candy from Warfield’s, the local store. I really enjoyed those walks. That stopped at some point, I assume because I was probably too cool for that. Then of course as I got older we didn’t visit as much, particularly during college and once I had moved to South Carolina.
During our trip to Ohio at Christmas we traveled to Pennsylvania to visit him at the nursing home. We did the same the year before, and Bryan was able to meet him and my aunt for the first time. Wheelchair bound and suffering from dementia but still able to able to converse, still mostly cognizant. Christmas 2011
I’ve said before that it’s crazy what difference a year can make. After a bout of aspiration pneumonia which landed him in the hospital, he had just returned to the home a few days before. He knew about the pregnancy and I had shared the news of the sexes with my aunt during his hospital stay, and he declared their names should be Isadore and Isabel. Unfortunately the day we visited he was not very responsive and I wasn’t sure at first if he even knew who I was. He hadn’t eaten much and was running a fever. At one point, though, he looked over at me and pointed at my belly. He knew. It made me sad that he probably wouldn’t ever get to meet them in person, as we expected this would be his last Christmas.
As the days went on his health continued to decline and eventually two or three days ago he stopped eating. Bryan and I are not regular pray-ers, but we did that night for him, my aunt, my dad, and the family in general.
When my phone rang this morning and read “Dad” on the screen, we knew. He had passed about 7 this morning. It was time. His passage from earth was expected, but all the same hard to hear.
As I left for my walk later this morning I thought of the ones we used to take together. Today’s walk was me, the dogs, my IPOD and Pap….with the periodic shout at the dog to stop pulling me.