The Day I Learned My Grandparents Are In Love

I visited my grandfather on Wednesday. Tired and delirious from a morning shift, it didn’t matter. Hospitals always confuse me; so many parking lots, so many entrances, dozens of signs to follow to get to the correct floor, the correct room. I asked for help and someone directed me to the main elevators, where I rode one up to the fourth floor. I already knew the room number. The door was open and his back was to me while he sat on the edge of the bed, talking to someone on the telephone. His hospital gown wasn’t pulled tight and most of his back was exposed. I smiled at my grandmother, who noticed me first, and saw a staff member mopping the floor behind the curtain that separated his bed from the one on the other side of the room. There was no patient on the other side.

I greeted her with a kiss and waited for my grandfather to finish his conversation, which he quickly did and kissed me hello. I sat on the edge of the bed and we talked for a minute. He asked me how I was. I asked him how he was. I stared at the network of tubes and tape and patches keeping needles secure, the hanging bags that pumped I don’t even know what into his body. Just then a friend of his walked in. Nice guy, but bad timing as I wanted some time alone with my grandfather. Ah, well. the friend sat next to my grandfather’s bed and I moved over to talk with my grandmother.

I leaned against the heating vent and crossed my arms. I stared at the floor. She had tears in her eyes. “Now what?” was all I could muster. She told me about the heart valves; two of them are useless, one is barely working, they couldn’t find the fourth. “What do you mean they can’t find it?” I asked. “They’ve tried twice already,” she said. “We’re waiting for them to bring him down to try again.”

“When they find it, what happens if it’s in good shape?” I asked. I don’t remember what she said. I just remember more tears, and pulling her head to my chest while I touched her hair. It was soft. The tears started for me, too, but either my grandfather didn’t notice or he pretended not to.

He was laying back down at this point, his feet crossed while he chatted with the friend. I looked him over. “Nice socks,” I said.

“Grey means you’re going home,” my grandmother said. “Red means you’re being admitted.” His were red.

I leaned back again. “Let’s take this one day at a time, let’s focus,” I said to my grandmother.

That’s when she said something that stuck to me, and hasn’t let go of my heart since.

“If they could tell me I can have him for ten more years, I’d be happy. But after that I’d want ten more.” 

As a child, I was “sure” of a few things:

1.) My parents loved each other because they are my parents, my grandparents loved each other because they are my grandparents.

2.) Marriage always equaled love.

3.) Kissing a boy could get a girl pregnant.

Then I grew up, I got my heart broken, I broke a few myself, and I found Joe. That’s when I learned that love is a series of dips and grooves; it is not this lifeless thing full of assumptions. The word love  embodies both good and bad, it is the representative for people who would do anything for each other. Love is a look, it’s a touch of the hand, it’s a kiss on the forehead, it’s sitting next to your husband’s hospital bed and praying with your whole self for a miracle.

No, marriage doesn’t always equal love, but in the case of my parents and grandparents, that’s exactly what it equals. I was correct in assuming my grandparents loved each other, but I’d never seen it in action, I’d never had it right in front of my eyes like that. She didn’t speak those words on her own. Her heart said them for her.

We talked for a while longer, me sitting on the edge of my grandfather’s bed again. Then the nurse finally came in to take him down for another test. “They better find it this time,” I said. And they did. My grandfather is now on the list for a heart transplant. We need those well wishes more than ever.

Thank you so much to those who sent your positive thoughts our way. I have the best blogging family on all of WordPress.



Filed under Uncategorized, Writing

52 responses to “The Day I Learned My Grandparents Are In Love

  1. I didn’t get to comment on your last post, but I read it in email and am pulling for your grandfather.
    This is a beautiful look at love, and I’m glad your grandmother has you and your family to lean on.

  2. What a beautiful story about true love. It makes me believe in love. I’m still praying for your grandfather, Nicole Marie, and your family, too. Lots of positive energy and love are on their way to all of you.

  3. Sending lots of good vibes your way and wishing for at least another 10 years for their love to continue to flourish. xo

  4. How beautiful is their love, your parents love, and your love. Continued well wishes for your entire family.

  5. Nicole,
    I am sending more positive thoughts you way. I’m sorry things aren’t looking so good and hope you grandfather doesn’t have to wait long for a heart. I could feel you love for him through your writing, and he’s a lucky man indeed to have so many people love him.

    • Thank you, twindaddy. Your comments always make me smile.

      • I hope you’re serious, but I’ll understand if you’re not.

        Seriously, though, I hope everything turns out for the best. On a side note, I’d like to tell you (as if you don’t already know) how talented you are as a writer. It’s rare that I read words that I can actually feel the emotions of, but that’s what happened when I read this post. I wish you the best on your writing journey, and I pray (I don’t really pray, but you get what I mean) that one day I own a book with your name on it.

        Keep up the good work.

      • No really, I mean it! Whether you’re making me laugh or offering me your support, I’m smiling. And I take those words to heart. Thank you so much.

      • You’re welcome!! And that first sentence was jest, just so you know.

      • How are things, by the way?

      • The same, pretty much. (Thank you for asking!) They sent him home yesterday – a good thing, since that made him relax a little – but he has to wear this crazy vest thing, so if he goes into cardiac arrest it will shock him back to life. Good, but scary…I’m going this afternoon to spend some time with him. I’m trying to do as much of that as possible. AND, my parents showed them this post and now they want a printed version. 🙂

      • Awesome! I’m glad he’s feeling well enough to go home. And definitely get as much time in as you can. You’re lucky. I never knew either one of my grandfathers.

      • I’m sorry to hear it. A friend of mine never knew her grandfathers OR grandmothers. I’m trying to count my blessings every day from here on out.

      • Me, too. From what I hear they were both great men. My maternal grandfather passed away years before I was born and my paternal grandfather passed away the day after Elvis died, when I was only a couple of months old. I have a picture of him holding me, but that’s all I have of him.

      • At least you have pictures, and the stories of how great they were. You must have inherited your big heart from them. 🙂

      • I don’t know, my mom has an awfully huge heart. I’m like them in a multitude of ways, but again, that’s all based on what I hear. I’m glad my children at least know their grandfathers and that’s something they never have to deal with.

  6. Nicole, this is so beautiful, I feel the emotion in every word. How lucky you are to have such wonderful role models. Of course, our hopes are with you, your Grandfather, and your family. Kim.

  7. An amazing post. I had always thought that’s how all marriages work also, just because it’s supposedly the natural way of life. Best of wishes for your grandfather.

  8. Nicole, I’m proud of you, and proud of your grandparents. I felt the emotion and love in your post – this is romance. Nothing else anyone has written matters, compared to this. It’s beautiful.

  9. All well wishes I have go to you now!
    Very touching. Hope everything turns out really, really fine.

  10. runningonsober

    Powerful post, Nicole, and very touching.

    Continued loving energy being sent your way.

  11. You’re grandmother’s words are going to stay with me a long time. I hope she gets her ten years. And ten more. And ten more.

  12. I miss my grandparents. You’ve made me cry just a little.
    Thank you for that.

  13. Such a sweetly sad post. Love and strength to you and yours.

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  15. I just read this – but did not have time to read the comments- I hope your grandfather is faring well. It brought tears to my eyes ~

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  19. Such a beautiful story. I hope your grandfather has a brand new heart by now : )

  20. So, so beautiful. It put me right back to the many times I visited my grandpa, who has now passed, in the hospital and watching my grandma endure it all. Your observations were so poignant and full of love for them. I know this post is from awhile ago…I hope your grandfather is well.

  21. This is such a beautiful yet heart wrenching tale. I adore love stories, especially the ones that have endured for decades. I was afraid to ask but see from a few recent comments that your grandfather is still with you and I am happy to hear that. For him, for your grandmother, and for you.
    I am glad TD sent me your way. You are a wonderful writer.

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