“You want to be a man in love? Act like a man in love.”
This is my Grandpa Sherman, you’ve met before back at his 85th Birthday last year. He never ceases to amaze me, for lack of better more vibrant wording. I mean, the man in just gold. This is the bouquet of flowers he had arranged for his wife, my Grandma, who passed 6 years ago. He goes to see his beloved in her resting place once a week. Sometimes he has to use both walking and busses to complete the 5 mile route. Did I mention he’s blind? So there’s that too. But, he is a man in love with his wife, and this is the way you behave; crazy. Love will make you do crazy things. Things you swore you’d never do suddenly become the-new-norm.
Grandpa talks, a lot. But Grandpa also leads simply by example. I watched carefully and now I know this is how you treat someone you love dearly: You show up. Even if it’s raining you go. Because being a little wet and blind isn’t so bad after all. You don’t need good eyesight or weather or transportation, all you need is to be near your love. Greg&Therese forever.
It was hard to think about driving to Yakima to be with him. I don’t particularly love 3 hour car rides with two kids and one slow driving husband. Did I say slow? Safe. I meant safe driving husband. And guess who had the best time ever? (THIS GIRL) I continued reading while the pets napped and we stopped in Ellensburg, WA for the BEST chinese food I have ever had in my life! We made it safely (thanks to Eric) and as always, my grandpa delighted me to no end. Stories were relayed for the fist and 1,000th time. We stayed up till 11 listening to a great man recall the days of drafts for the World Wars, building his first house on the lake and raising 5 kids 6, and under. I pray I’m able to do these stories justice someday. Furthermore, I was thoroughly enjoying the no-internet /no phone time. The total emersion of being present in the moment was startling. ( I get so distracted by the internet sometimes.) Watching Otto in the garden holding hands with Grandpa, Hobbs crawling around the same patio I used to play on when I was new, flipping through albums and cat napping on the couch reminded me of summers spent there when I was school-aged and know-it-all-y. It’s nicer there now, now that I can appreciate the stories, the picture frames, the year long Christmas decor. Listening to the deep understanding of love as told by Gregory Sherman I came to know him as an artist, a hopeless romantic and a loyal man to not only his family but to his country and to God. For being legally blind and 86 the guy sees more than most. More than me. I watched him sitting out on the patio, beaming in the setting of the sun and felt pity for him. Oh he must be so sad, sitting out there all alone, he’s probably thinking about Grandma and how miserable life is these days. I went out to console the poor guy. Mery? The birds are singing beautifully tonight. He wasn’t sad, he wasn’t on the pity pot, he was basking in the warmth, in the song, completely submerged in the now. I became drenched with gratitude, what a gift to know this man.
I enjoyed my first real-life Memorial Day service just he and I on Monday. *Note to self* Blind guys give the best compliments on your outfits, take them out more often. On our way out the door Grandpa picked up Otto and carried him around crooning him with some old fashioned love song about farewells. Amazing thing #16 Otto let him carry him, this required a stillness and cooperation I’m not used to seeing. But, this is what it looks like to be in love. It sometimes means saying yes when you want to say no or saying no when you really want to say yes. It’s putting your children’s needs like food and clothing before your wants like vacations and new cars. It’s buying waffles for a guy reminiscent of Plato meets Bing Crosby. It’s doing things you don’t always want to do, but because you need to and they need you to. And that makes me happier in the end. Choose love.