My grandpa turned 100 yesterday. He lives in Oklahoma and it's been years since I've seen him. It's not that I haven't thought about Grandpa but traveling to that area hasn't been on a to do list at this point. I decided to give him a call - at the nursing home where he lives. According to my dad (his son) Grandpa is pretty sharp, loves sports but can be hard to understand. Not a problem, I was willing to turn up the phone volume if necessary.
Thing is, he doesn't answer his phone so I called the nurse's front desk and she forewarned him that I'd be calling, so he answered the phone.
Me: Grandpa, it's me, Chanice.
Grandpa hung up on me!
I waited two minutes and called back.
Me: Hi Grandpa!
Me: Uhh, Grandpa (stuttering cause he said the S word quite clearly.)
Grandpa: (interrupting) I don't know you!
Me: Yes you do Grandpa! I'm one of the twins.
Grandpa: I don't know you. Lookee here. I'm getting ready to eat dinner. Call back later.
Click. He hung up on me again. I was determined to wish him a happy birthday, even if he hung up on me twenty more times.
I called my dad and told him, "Grandpa said the "S" word." My dad was shocked. I guess Grandpa doesn't usually curse. Leave it to me, his granddaughter to turn him into a cursing man!
My dad encouraged me to call again...that he would forewarn him that I'd be calling.
I waited a bit giving Grandpa time to chew and digest his food and called him again.
Me: Hi Grandpa! Happy Birthday. How are you? This is Chanice."
All of this is coming out fast so that he won't hang up on me without at least hearing me wish him a happy birthday.
Grandpa: I know who you are!!
(I wish he would've said that two phone calls ago.)
Me: Happy birthday, Grandpa!
Grandpa: I'm 100 years old. On the 18th.
Me: Wow that's old, I mean, wow!
Grandpa: I know how old I am!
Me: Did you have cake?
Me: Oh. That's good. (No idea what he said but that was the first response out of my mouth.)
Grandpa: Lookee here. The phone keep ringing. First you call, then your daddy and then you call again. I'm trying to watch sports so maybe if you don't call, I can watch.
Me: Okay Grandpa. Enjoy your sports. Happy birthday!
Grandpa: Thank you.
For some reason, that phone call tickled me. I laughed not because Grandpa cursed but because I remembered when I was little, Grandpa would always send me and my twin sister a dime taped to a piece of note paper for our birthdays. Every year, he never missed until we were maybe 12 years old. When we'd go to Oklahoma to visit him, he'd hold our hands and take us out with him to feed the chickens and his pig, Gus. He would quietly laugh as we tromped through the mud, coming back with eggs in our hands. There was something about being out in the country. My sister and I would sit in the dirt and play with caterpillars, catch fireflies and chase the chickens. It was like being in another world when we were visiting Grandpa.
I just hope that Grandpa enjoys his time left here on earth. He's quite a character and you know, I now realize that the fruit don't fall far from the tree.