Grandpa Wigh Reincarnated

One of my favorite phrases to use is, “the only thing wrong with retirement is that there are no days off.” The only way I know that today is Saturday is to look at my phone. Otherwise, all days seem to run into each other, and before I know it a week is gone, and I’m still thinking it is last Tuesday. This week, I missed a planned meeting because I got lost in time, and the task at hand carried more priority than the meeting.

Yesterday, I drove lovely to visit one of her girlfriends. While there I asked the friend if she remembered what I had promised to give her the last time we met. “Yes,” she replied, “I want a picture and you said you’d give me one.” She led me into her room to show me a picture on the wall that she wanted to replace. Actually, I thought to myself, that is a great picture, why would she want to replace it? Just as if she read my mind she said, “I’m tired of looking at it. I would like a sea with mountains and trees, use your imagination.”

While Lovely and her friend chatted away in a foreign tongue that I don’t understand, I sat scrolling through the photos on my phone. Surely, I have something with all the elements she desired. I scrolled all the way through 2011 before Lovely ended the visit. I found a number of photos that I would be proud to give her. Most of them were of the Monet Vision, and the remainder were sunsets, some at sea, and some of the desert. Now the task of choosing and getting Lovely’s approval before setting out to have the picture enlarged, printed, and framed. I have to get better at fulfilling my promises because I now have three things ahead of this one that await packaging, and shipping.

With nothing but time on my hands the temptation is always to put things off until tomorrow. Yet, I should adopt a policy of don’t put it off until tomorrow you may not live that long. Many people think that is wrong, and somewhat negative but the fact remains that it is reality.

Last week, I visited my brother who is seven years my senior. He was recently hospitalized and at death’s door after oral surgery. It seems he developed sepsis, a systemic infection afterwards, and it nearly killed him. Up to that point he still drove his car regularly, and was a free spirit at the retirement home, often disappearing for two weeks at a time to visit his summer home in Michigan. As he put it to me, “they took my key away.” As we talked he stopped for a moment and said “I think I’ll escape this place soon.” His heart pines for the country life. During our visit I saw him in profile and saw our Grandpa Jim. Grandpa didn’t have teeth, and Bill’s uppers are now out and his upper lip is collapsed inward, and damned if he doesn’t look exactly like Grandpa Wigh.

I reminded Bill that our own father gave up driving when he was in his early eighties. “Yeah,” Bill said, “He told me he nearly crashed someone because he couldn’t lift his leg fast enough to brake, and just squeeked by an accident.” It makes me think about my own driving which is becoming somewhat questionable at times, so many times while driving I am thinking of making a lane change and literally feel a presence next to me then out of the corner of my eye, I see a vehicle in the blind spot. Thankfully, the worst has been a loud horn that saved me. I can vision someone taking the key away from me in the near future.

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