Dear Visiting Readers,
I went to visit my 96-year old-grandpa in the nursing home in Baton Rouge. I walked in and he said, “Jennifer!” He was so excited to see me. In fact, he commented, “You look good.” I replied, “That’s because I look like my grandma.” He smiled.
I brought him a copy of my book, Life Storms: Hurricane Katrina. He was thrilled and asked me to sign the book for him. He flipped through with eagerness. He couldn’t wait to read it.
I showed him the article in The Times-Picayune and showed him pictures of me with Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Hoda Kotb, Chief Meteorologist at WDSU Margaret Orr, and Anchorwoman for WWL-TV Sally-Ann Roberts; pictures at the Orpheum Theater, the Aquarium and the Saegner Theatre. He was in excellent spirits. He wanted to know how Gabriel, Lucas and Pierre were. He commented, “I wish Pierre was with you. I really miss him.” But Pierre wasn’t with me. My aunt Jackie came for the ride.
It was time to eat. He asked if I would push his wheelchair to the dining area. And that is exactly what I did. He took a few bites but said, “I can’t eat that much anymore.” He’s been in the nursing home for 2-years now. He shared, “It’s not that bad. But I really miss your grandmother. She was such a good woman.” We talked about restaurants that we visited. He would take my sister and I to a fancy restaurant for our birthday. And on one occasion, we each ordered two desserts. Of course, he told of his war stories. I commented, “Grandpa, you lived a beautiful life.” My aunt expounded, “You have 3 beautiful children, 8 lovely grandchildren, and 21 great-grandchildren. You served your country, had a successful law career, and was married for 70 years.” He nodded in agreement. A blessed man… A blessed life. So much to be thankful for.
We talked about a cruise we took to Turkey and Greece. He is ready to go on another cruise!
I asked, “Grandpa, what is the most exciting thing you look forward to each day?” He responded, “Going to sleep.” We both laughed. Ninety-six and in good spirits with great cognitive abilities. I got longevity with those incredible genes.
He sat at the dining area for a while before we headed back to his room. He knew the time had come for my departure. I set him up with a football game. I took some pictures, kissed him and said, “I love you grandpa.” He responded, “I love you too Jennifer.” I added, “I’ll see you next time.” He looked at me wide-eyed and revealed, “I hope so. Now go sell a lot of books Jennifer.”
This visit was special. They are all special. But to think that my grandpa made it to ninety-six. I just released my book and even got to share that experience with him. Life is sweet. Life is precious.
I love you grandpa!!!