Saturday, September 09, 2006

Grandpa Jack

My Grandpa Jack isn't doing very well. Mom called last night to tell me that he's only lucid about half the time, is easily confused and is starting to fail. She arranged hospice care for him and is doing everything possible to make sure he is comfortable. I am sad and feel helpless. My Grandpa Jack is a kind but mischievous man who has never said an unkind word about anyone. When I was a little kid he used to delight in teasing me, the cat, the dog and anyone or thing that would give him a reaction. My brother was always a better ping pong player than me, even though he was 3 years younger. Grandpa would tell him to give me an "ephus" when we were playing. I'm making up the spelling of the word just as I'm sure Grandpa made up the word. Anyway, an ephus is when you set up the ball so your opponent thinks they have an easy slam but there's a wicked spin on it and when you try to slam it, it just flies straight out and you miss the table every time. If I played ping pong with Grandpa he would serve me an ephus every single time because I fell for it every single time. He loved watching me get mad and try to hit it harder and harder. He also liked to take me to the local miniature golf course. I used to get pretty frustrated there too and I was known to throw my club around. He loved it.
He is fiercely loyal and adored my Grandma. He cared for her as long as he could and was never the same after she died. I think he simply hasn't wanted to be here without her.

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