when gramps was told a few weeks ago that he has stage 3 colon cancer and must begin chemotherapy right away, the doctor asked him if he had any "big dates" planned in the near future. "yes", he replied in his gruff voice, "i need to take my granddaughter to babies r us in november". i am not his biological granddaughter; i am merely married to his grandson. however, from the moment i first met him, i felt welcomed into the family with open arms.
gramps is a special guy. he has played a very influential role in josh's life and josh has played a very influential role in his. it was josh's near brush with death 10 years ago that caused gramps to realize that God really does exist and he has been a believer ever since. gramps proudly stood at the end of the aisle as one of josh's groomsmen at our wedding. when you talk with gramps, you can't help but feel a grin spread across your face. "get outta dodge!" is an exclamation he uses so much you'd think that he was the one who coined it. at christmas time, he says over and over while opening gifts, "well, i'll be! i was just going to run out and get me one of those" or "i was almost out of this and now i'm all set" even if he has about a million of whatever it is stock piled in his trailer. he is very concious of making you feel as if your gift to him was the best one he received. when josh and i told him that we were expecting his third great-grandchild, he stood up and nearly danced a jig, he was so thrilled. i believe his exact words were "HOT DOG!"
on friday i had the priviledge of spending the morning with gramps on our "date". i had never been to a babies r us store and when i walked in the door, i nearly got tears in my eyes, everything was so beautiful. we grabbed a shopping cart and started at one end of the store and made our way all the way around until the cart was laden with baby gear of all kinds. we got diapers and wipes, crib sheets and burp cloths, baby powder and bibs. we had so much FUN. my favorite items were the sweetest little lamp with baseball gear propped up against the base, and a shelf with hooks for the wall that is shaped like a baseball bat. at the checkout, i gulped as the items added up so quickly, but gramps didn't bat an eye as he wrote out the check...he just grinned. afterwards, he took me out for breakfast at mimi's cafe and we talked and laughed and i was so excited to show josh everything.
his recent diagnosis was obviously a blow to our entire family, but we were told that with chemotherapy, he has a good chance of another 5 years. our prayer is that God will grant him enough years on this earth for tristan to not only get to meet his awesome great-gramps, but that he will also remember him. we would also appreciate your prayers as he begins treatment. right now he is so up-beat and ready to fight this thing. we pray that his attitude does not change.
i love you, gramps.