By Audrey W.
John Gage walked into a room at the nursing home and quietly sighed. He looked soberly at the white haired woman sitting in a chair near a window on the other side of the bed. Though he easily recognized the familiar features of her face, she’d clearly aged much since he’d last seen her.
“Who’s there?” she asked, her gaze now on him.
“It’s me. . .John.”
He nodded. “John Gage. . .your grandson.”
“John!” A warm smile spread across her face and she held out her arms. “Come in, son. Come over so I can give you a big hug.”
He did as requested and the two embraced tightly, his grandmother still in the chair. She pulled back as they released and placed her hands on the sides of his face before he had a chance to stand up straight. “It’s so good to see you.”
But John knew that she couldn’t actually see him well. His aunt had told him that since having a couple of mini strokes, his grandmother was losing her sight. She could only see images enough to know ‘someone’ was with her, but not always who it was.
“What have you been up to, John?”
There was another symptom of the strokes that he‘d been told about. His aunt had told the grandmother on every visit she made what each family member was doing, including that Johnny was a fire fighter/paramedic with Los Angeles County. But she’d warned him that his grandmother would probably forget and need to hear it again.
Her hands were now down on her lap, so Johnny stepped back and sat on the edge of the bed.
“I’m with the fire department, Gramma. I rescue people.” Maybe she can remember that easier. . .he thought.
“Oh, how wonderful!”
“It’s lunch time,” a female voice announced from the doorway. John turned to look and there was a pretty middle-aged brunette nurse waiting for a response. From behind he heard, “Will you have lunch with me?”
He turned again to see his grandmother looking at him as she waited for his answer.
“Sure,” he said with a crooked grin.
“You can go,” she called out to the nurse still waiting. “He can help me.”
The staff member raised her brows in question. “Is that okay with you, sir?”
“I’d be glad to.”
The lady left and his grandmother began to push up from her chair. John quickly got to his feet and reached out to assist. Once she was up, he gently hooked his arm around hers and carefully led her out of the room since she wouldn’t be able to see clearly enough to walk out on her own.
“When do you graduate from high school?” she asked as they slowly made their way down the hall and past other rooms.
“I’m not in high school, Gramma. I’m in the fire department.”
“Oh. I get you young ones mixed up I guess.”
More than ever before, John wished he’d kept the promise he had made three years before to come by and see her at her own home again soon. But he’d been busy with things in his own life. . .his job with the fire department, looking into various money-making schemes at times with his often reluctant paramedic partner Roy DeSoto, enjoying the outdoors away from the city and always on the lookout for ‘miss right’. Soon became later . . .and later again.
Who’da thought three years could bring so many changes?
After all, at the time she was a healthy, active seventy-seven year old who still traveled a lot, loved going to the movies and doing jigsaw puzzles.
Though he knew he’d keep busy as usual once he got back to Carson and the station, Johnny made a promise again. He wouldn’t let so much time go before another visit. And this one he’d make sure he kept. Because who knew what changes life might bring next.
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