What if we fight? What if his new girlfriend doesn’t like you because he has told her bad things about you? What if Grandpa doesn’t remember me? What if they make scene in front of Kenzie? What if I can’t bite my tongue and say something I might regret?
I start to breathe heavily and I feel hot tears well up behind my eyes. I slow my breath and wipe the escaped tear off of my face. When you have only seen your dad once a year for the past seven years, and every time it ends in a fight, you get a little nervous when it comes to that time of year again, especially when it is because Grandpa is sick and we are selling all of his stuff before he moves to Nevada to live with my aunt.
I start to think about all of the wonderful memories of my great grandpa. He is 98 now and going strong. His mind and his strength is starting to go, but he is still living on his own, for another few days at least.
My first memories of Grandpa are his war stories. As a veteran of World War II, it is safe to say he is full of stories, even if some are slightly fabricated. I remember being a very small child and being excited to go swimming and Grandpa telling me that he couldn’t swim, even though he was in the Navy. He had slipped through the cracks and ended up on a war ship.
I remember Christmas every year when Great Grandpa and Grandma would give me a crisp 100 dollar bill in a glittery card. I remember how sad they would be every other Sunday afternoon when I was getting ready to go back to my mom’s house. I remember how Grandpa made sure to spend a Saturday afternoon with me every time I was at Dad’s, and how it turned into the whole day after Grandma died. I remember how Grandpa gave me Grandma’s favorite diamond earrings and necklace after she died. I remember the Christmas after my youngest sister was born and Grandpa secretly gave me an extra crisp 100 dollar bill and told me not to tell anyone.
I remember how sad I was when I realized how I wouldn’t get to see Grandpa very often after Dad and I stopped talking. I remember how excited he was when I surprised him by showing up on his door step on a random Saturday afternoon. I remember how he defended me if someone tried to speak ill of me or tell me that it was my fault that my dad and I didn’t talk anymore.
I remember how heart breaking it was when I called Grandpa and he didn’t remember who I was. I remember how sad I was when my dad told me that Grandpa was sick and wasn’t going to make it, but I also remember the excitement I felt when I heard he was back to full health.
I remember how my heart stopped when my dad told me that I had to come home the second weekend of October because Grandpa was going to be moving to Nevada with Aunt Karen and I realized that this was the last time I would see him and there is a great possibility that it will not end well.
I’m nervous. The kind of nervous where you have a constant, hollow feeling in your stomach. A lump in the back of your throat. And tears behind your eyes that may escape any minute.
I pray that this weekend goes well. I hope that I can look back on this and have it be a great, final memory with my great grandpa.