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My Grandpa's Byes

Nancy Anne, IL, USA
April 2003

My grandpa and I were very close even though he lived in Kansas and I lived in Illinois. He didn't care that I am deaf and used body movements and my skills of reading his lips.

We drove down to Nebraska to visit dying grandpa in veteran hospital-he knew it was grandma's birthday so he made my grandma to go out for dinner with my parents and me. I sulked because I wanted to stay with grandpa, but he talked me into going with her to make sure she'd have nice time.

During eating at a good restaurant, I saw my grandpa's face showing up in bowl of soup. I looked up, telling mom that we have to go now. Shivers went up my arms and I just knew that it was very urgent to go back.

My grandma smiled saying that Grandpa is fine and that the hospital would call the restaurant if anything happens. I was getting restless so my parents gave up, deciding to go back to hospital. I was impatient with the elevator going so slow up to 3rd floor. The moment the elevator door opened, I rushed into the hall. My eyes darted to the first door on right, my heart sank, the nurses and doctors were running into my grandpa's room with machines. We walked into the room, seeing grandpa's shallow breath and irregular lines on the machines. His eyes looked into mine, as if he was saying thanks. My grandma got his full attention for a minute then he started to fade. The nurse smoothed his white hair, as if to tell him its all right. I was stunned that grandpa died for real after all those years.

A couple of hours later when we all were in bed, I woke up and decided to go to kitchen to get a drink. I was startled to see a white light on the seat of grandpa's favorite old chair. Feeling nervous, yet somehow I felt that its ok to have a closer look. My grandpa! He smiled, using sign language to communicate with me "I love you" I was stunned, because he never learnt a lot of sign language, not enough to ever make a sentence. I said I love you in sign back. The light was fading and before he faded away, he pointed toward the grandpa clock. The tears swelled in my eyes, watching him disappear fast, I smiled at the grandpa clock. We used to wait till the hand hit every hour, my grandpa would teach me to feel the grandpa clock's vibrations as it binged. Plus it also brought back another special memory. My grandpa had told my mom to leave me be, not making me wear a hearing aid after he saw that my mom made me wear a hearing aid ended in tears. That meant that he accepted that I am deaf :o)

Nancy Anne, IL, USA
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