Monday, June 4, 2007

When Doors Open

Last week, my grandfather had a stroke. He's doing quite well now--back at home, shuffling around the house as he usually does. My grandmother was quite upset, as to be expected. She kept telling me the story of how she and my grandfather met. Though I've heard it dozens of times, I always like to hear it again. Stories from my grandmother's life in Scotland are rarely heard. She mostly tells about life after meeting my grandfather and moving to England to be with him. Every now and then, a secret comes out that just breaks my heart.

This weekend, she told me about how her father died. I had always assumed he had lived a ripe life, and died of natural causes. He lived long enough that he reached an age to have 12 children, and to be receiving a pension of sort from the government. His cheque had come in the mail, and he left the house to go to the bank to cash it. The milkman had just delivered the milk, and he offered my great-grandfather a drive down the road. He gratefully accepted the ride. As they were coming around a bend, a delivery truck of bottles was headed towards them, and it lost control. In an attempt to avoid the collision, the milkman spun the steering wheel away from the delivery truck. In doing so, the passenger side of the truck was hit, and the crates of bottles crashed down, directly on my great-grandfather. My grandma skipped the story to her and her sisters arriving home to find bloody clothes on the floor, and my great-grandmother crying. Either before they got home, or after, the milkman came to the front door, and said to my great-grandmother that she had better get to the hospital. My grandma didn't say if he has passed away before any of them could see him or not.

I am always amazed at the life that my grandma had. The hardships that she struggled through, and how she put it all behind her and kept moving forward. I think that if I ended up being like her, it wouldn't be such a bad thing.

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