Friday, September 2, 2011

Day 2: antagonist description

I looked at Grandpa sitting silently across the small table from me.  “Do you want some more eggs?” I asked him.


“More juice?”

“No. I’m fine.”

I considered him for a few moments.  Grandpa’s eyes were hidden under his large, bushy, gray eyebrows.  His wiry gray hair stuck out here and there; it was time for another haircut.  His old brown sweater consumed him.  Grandpa looked at me and smiled faintly, but I could tell this was one of his more difficult days.  Grandpa was still adjusting to the changes the past year had brought him: a physical decline which necessitated the use of a wheelchair and kept him from going out of the house as often as he liked.  Driving had been especially hard for him to give up.  I understood completely.  I treasured my independence as much as Grandpa valued his, and the thought of losing so much of it horrified me.  While Grandpa and I were thankful that he had not declined much mentally, it sometimes seemed like a cruel joke of fate.  He knew exactly how much he was missing out on, and on his bad days this knowledge seemed to mock him just as his thick head of hair did in the mirror, sitting atop that thin, wasted body.

Grandpa caught me staring and jerked into action, picking up his plate and rolling himself to the sink.  After putting his plate in the sink he went into the living room and switched on the television.  I Love Lucy was on; his favorite.  As Grandpa lost himself in Lucy’s comic genius, I continued to watch him and wonder.  Was this really the best situation for him?  Would he be better off in a place with more people and activities to interact with?  He fights adamantly against the idea of moving out of his home, the home he shared with Grandma for 37 years and in which she passed away.  I’m sure he wants to die here, too.  But what if he was already dead?


  1. Hmmm. Thought provoking. I think it's possible to grieve for losses while still appreciating what one has. Maybe Grandpa was feeling like, "Look what life has become. Getting old sucks. But at least I get to stay at home."

    I think it's a huge blessing that he's able to stay "in place." I talked to my grandma tonight about her future move, and she said that the biggest change was moving from her home. It's not as traumatic to move from one place to another (her kid's house to assisted living, for example) as it was to lose her home.

    So I hope you feel good that you are able to help him live where he wants.

  2. Really good piece with a powerful punch! I lost both my parents within the last three years and I could so relate to what you wrote!

    I really stopped by to congratulate you. You won an Honorable Mention for your limerick! Limerick of the Week 25. Thanks so much for your fun contribution to last week's Limerick-Off! Hope you'll become a regular participant!