Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Papa's 90th Birthday

My grandfather turned 90 on March 2nd. Papa has been slipping away for a while now and it’s very possible this momentous birthday will be his last so Currier and I popped up to Massachusetts to visit him for the weekend. We had a small celebration with cake and ice cream in his hospital room and Papa was awarded a citation from the city of Newburyport for his 44 years of service as a firefighter. I was glad we could be there with him when he received it.
It was difficult to see my grandfather so frail, especially since he's my hero. In my eyes he was always a big, strong man. He was a firefighter and there's no one tougher than a firefighter—but there he was lying in a nursing home bed unable to walk. He looked so sad; he reeked of humility. It was hard to see him with Currier because I know Currier will never get to experience his great-grandfather's wit (There is nothing funnier than being called a dingbat, dipshit, half-witted, moron). I was struck by a moment of clarity when Papa clutched Currier in his wobbly arms. I saw two men of the same bloodline—one's life just beginning and one's just ending. I am thankful that I could see the beauty in that and I am grateful that Currier and I could be with Papa on his 90th birthday.

6 comments:

Crazy Andres said...

God damn you, Coleen, you made me cry again! You always write such sentimental and heartfelt reflections, especially about your family! I'll be ready next time with some Kleenex!

Coleen said...

Jeez, I hope you weren’t at the public library this time! Ha ha! Sorry, I wore my heart on my sleeve for this post. No need to keep tissues handy. I do try to keep my blog about the happy times but occasionally there are sad times that are blog worthy.

Currier and I miss our Tuesday and Thursday lunch dates with you and Ella. Applebees doesn't taste as good in America as it did in Italy.

Nicole said...

Coleen, I'm so glad you got to go visit your Papa for his birthday. How sad for you but nice that you were there.

Coleen said...

Thanks Nicole, I wished I had enough time for a Girl's Night Out while I was home. I hope to come home this summer for a week or two and I'll see all you ladies then!

melrock74 said...

I am sorry Colleen, I hope that you are doing well:) it is hard to see:(

Coleen said...

Hi Mel,
Yes, it's sad especially since he's suffering. It sucks to get old.