posted by Kreiger at 10:37 PM
My paternal grandfather was not a particularly nice man. He was born in the early years of the 20th century and came of age during the '30s. He lived through the harshest times in living Canadian memory, and they left him reserved and stern.
Near the end of his life, his Alzheimer's loosened its grip for a brief moment when my father was visiting.
'Dad? It's Bob...' said my father, seeing the change in him.
'I know who you are,' said my grandfather, in the voice of a snooker shark bank manager. 'Thank you for everything you've done for me,' he said, putting his hand out for my father to shake. And then he was gone again, back into the fog.
Imagine the strength, the sheer force of masculine willpower that it would take, having been granted a short reprieve from years of senility and dementia, to realise that you were dying and use what could be your last lucid moments to thank your son for taking care of you in your decline.
Stan Marshall, my Dad's Dad, died this past Saturday, the tenth of March, 2007.