Monday, December 17, 2007

Grandaddy's Shoes

My husband is a man of fairly small stature. He stands five foot, nine inches tall and weighs a mere 160 pounds. My hands are as big as his hands - literally. His "little" brother and sister are both taller than him and just all around built larger. But I guess he gets his build from his maternal grandmother, who has a petite frame. And his grandfather that just passed had a very small frame, too, even though they were not biologically related. You see, Scott's grandmother had been married before and with that husband had his mother and his aunt. Unfortunately, it was an extremely volatile and unhealthy marriage, and though it was not widely socially accepted at the time, she divorced the father of her children and went it alone. I can't imagine the stress of that experience in an age where divorced women were shunned by the church and the rest of society. Somehow, Scott's grandparent's were reconnected, because as we learned yesterday, they had known each other in school. He married her and adopted the two young girls and you would never know that they were not his.

Fast forward to this Thanksgiving Day when we were so glad grandaddy was feeling up to joining us for our meal. He had just started a new round of chemo, but was feeling good enough to come. When he came in, I hugged his neck and looked down at his shoes. They were surprisingly stylish and I had to tell him so. We got a good laugh about it and I mentioned that he dressed more stylish than his grandson. Scott really enjoyed his grandfather that day and they shot several games of pool together downstairs in our game room. They visited most of the afternoon, and we now know that it was the last visit we would have with him.

On Friday, we got the news early that morning about Scott's grandfather. He headed down to Millbrook to be with his family. At some point during the day, his grandmother called him into their bedroom and pulled out the shoes that grandaddy was wearing on Thanksgiving Day. His grandmother said that was the only time they had been worn. She wanted him to have them, mainly because of the memory we shared about them. But partly, too, I am sure, because Scott is the only one in the family built like his grandfather. He tried them on, and they fit perfectly. It really touched him, I know, and I don't know when he will be able to actually wear them. But when he does, I am sure he will fill them well.


Erika said...

That's so very sweet.

carrie said...

What a great story. So many parallels to life.

Kristin said...

I've been thinking about y'all. It is wonderful you will always have those special memories from Thanksgiving. Similar to Scott's grandfather,my Daddy Pat was my mom's dad by remarriage and adoption. You never would've known he wasn't her biological father. I adored him. He died of lung cancer 6 years ago. We brought Eli home from the hospital on the first anniversary of Daddy Pat's death. That's where Eli's middle name,Patrick came from.