Monday, November 12, 2012

94 Years Young

In addition to being Remembrance Day, yesterday was my Grandpa's 94th birthday. So to celebrate, the Ontario contingent of the family that was available got together for a nice lasagna dinner complete with birthday cake. Being 94, my grandpa's body fails him in a few key areas - he has difficulty seeing and hearing, among other things. It can often be hard to communicate with him. Despite this, last night I realized there are a few things that transcend any communication difficulties, things that he connects with the
same now as when he was young.

Humour - Grandpa still loves to laugh at a good joke, and he can still crack a few that will make you laugh out loud. He was always one to tease, and he still loves to engage in playful banter when he can.

Music - A few of us thought it would be nice to have a small hymn sing, because Grandpa loves those familiar songs, and thankfully we can all sing loud enough for him to hear it. It was so precious to me to see him smiling and singing along as we went through song after song. His mind recalling words he probably memorized decades ago, his voice and lips unabashedly singing them out, his heart being warmed by our harmonies and encouraged by the meaning of the hymns.

Touch - I may not always be comfortable speaking loudly into his ear, but I have no problem showing him love through a hug or a touch on the shoulder. When we were singing last night, I reached over and took his hand. He squeezed it back, and for a few minutes I rubbed the back of his strong, weathered hand while he listened and we sang. Another precious moment to me, connecting without words.

I hope and trust he felt loved last night. It was an honour to celebrate his 94th birthday with him. 

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