Monday, April 21, 2003

My grandfather was a pretty special man. He lived to be 97 years old (we think) so I expect he saw a little bit of everything in his lifetime. He drove until he was 95, a full 3 years after they refused to renew his license. He finally stopped driving the car when my mom sold it after he ran into the house because he didn't see it. He didn't speak to her for about a week and then talked someone into taking him to the John Deere place where he bought a riding lawn mower. Once he had wheels again, he decided to forgive mom. Until about 2 weeks before his death, he drove that mower the 3 blocks to the post office and stores in the little town where he lived. We called it "making his rounds".

Right after he bought the mower, I was visiting with him one day and we were sitting out in his yard in the swing. He had already proudly shown me his mower so as we sat there he was telling me what he had to spend for it. He muttered, "Sister, there was a time when I could have bought 2 pickup trucks for what I paid for that durn thing!" He was disgusted about the price but sure was proud to have wheels and some of his independence back.

He died in January 99, but he kept his and my mom's lawn mowed through that previous October. Mom always fussed at him because it was really more than he needed to be doing until one day I asked her if she didn't think he'd be happier doing what he wanted to do until the end. She finally left him alone to do his thing.

I was really lucky to have him in my life.

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