I have random trip to share, to Philadelphia in November, where I spent some time with my 90 year old Grandpop. There was a lot of cooking and cleaning to do, and I took him on a couple of “field trips”, including the grocery store, the dollar store (his favorite!), and out to the Delaware River to feed the “ducks”. I use ducks in quotation marks, because many of them were greedy seagulls, but I don’t begrudge them the stale crackers! The pictures were taken in the Fall.
It was pretty amazing, to see someone almost blind from macular degeneration and using a walker, yet insisting on climbing a ladder to check the furnace in the basement, unscrewing stripped screws, and digging a hole in the back yard to bury some old grease (I couldn’t get him to just toss it in the garbage!). The thing that most impressed me is his calm acceptance of his disabilities. He understands he needs to use the walker. When I would leave him a moment in the grocery store, he would wait calmly until I returned, even though he couldn’t pick me out of the crowd until I spoke.
No one is perfect, but we need to do the best with what we have. Here is a man who was always so physically strong, and now he opens an unknown can (because he can’t read the label), eats whatever he finds, and is satisfied with that. He take joy in a friend’s call or someone taking the time to drop off a home cooked meal. My Grandpop hasn’t always been the most perfect person in the world, but when you love someone, you love them despite what you know about them. And those are some important lessons to take away.