Today arrived quicker than I thought. There was not enough time to properly craft my tale from Aruba. I am still writing it now. In the meantime, I would like to only share this:
This November we celebrated my grandfather’s 90th birthday. I would say that his 90 is the new 75+ or 80. For a nonagenarian, his mind and mobility are at the highest percentile level. Occasionally, we will have to remind him of his age when he talks about people being “old,” that are in their 70s-80s. There are many days that I think about him now being in the house alone since my grandmother passed; I think it about a lot actually, and it always makes my heart ache. I never want to push the idea of him moving out soon, because I understand that walking away from the house means walking away from the memories that were shared there for over 30 years with my grandmother. Last week, I drove past my grandparent’s house. Coincidentally, my “soul mate’s” parents live around the corner in the same development. I stayed at their house quite later than I expected after and thought it would be too late to stop to visit my grandfather as originally planned. As I drove by, only the lights in the bedroom were visible from the street and I couldn’t have wanted him out of that house even sooner, knowing he was there by himself.
Since news of my grandfather being a widow has hit the streets, there are women courting my grandfather. Yes, women, as in more than one woman. By far, this is one aspect of my grandmother’s passing that I was not prepared for, nor even thought about. I guess my grandfather is a “catch.” They have all been mutual friends, or widowed wives of friends and such. One in particular, is a friend of my grandfather’s close friend’s girlfriend. The friend’s girlfriend must have tried to “hook them up.” He had spoken with her on the phone a few times and one time happened to be when we were visiting. At that time, I had not been told about his suitor. We were watching him and ease dropping the entire time not knowing who was on the other end. During that call, he didn’t speak to her for long, but when he hung up he gave us all the details. The size of my eyes grew when I heard this from his mouth. Was I having mixed feelings about this? I know how much he loves my grandmother, so it was not a matter of feeling like he was replacing her. I wasn’t upset with him because I know this isn’t about finding love again. The more I thought about it, I realized that I don’t want him to be lonely. If someone wants to chat him up, take him to lunch or talk to him on the phone, wonderful.
That wasn’t quite a few months ago. From that time on, the plan was that there would be an opportunity created for them to meet each other in person. Neither of them drives now and it would take some outside help. My aunt was interested in orchestrating the meeting and we had all jokingly talked about what would come of this during several visits. I had given him advice about dating one woman who drove and one who did not, to insure that they won’t both show up to see him unannounced. Things had gotten pretty silly. I never imagined I would give my grandfather dating advice, whether kidding or not. We all weren’t sure if he was going to go through with this, but he never seemed against the idea. Apparently, he went ahead with it this week and met her. This has given me a lot to think about and a lot to learn from. If this man who was married to and loved my grandmother for over the last 70 years can be open to move on with life, with the loss of her life and love, no matter how small the steps, what am I doing?