Sunday, December 12, 2010
After dragging the old sled out of the attic and hauling it down two flights of stairs, Naomi was out of breath. She knew it was all for a good cause though.
"Naomi?" she heard him call weakly.
"Coming Gramps!" Naomi yelled with a happy smile. It was the first real smile she'd had in weeks. This had to work. She prayed it would help him feel better.
Her Gramps had been diagnosed with colon cancer several weeks before. Turns out he'd had symptoms for over a year, but by the time he finally went in, it had spread to his liver and other organs. The doctors gave him weeks to live. And now it was Christmas. Her last Christmas with him. His spirits had been low and he blamed himself for not going into the doctor sooner.
She couldn't imagine life without her Gramps. He and Grandma had babysit her and her older brothers when they were little. He'd taught her to fish, tie her shoes, swim, and ride a bike. He'd never treated her different from her brothers, even if she had been the only girl in the bunch. He'd been the best grandfather a girl could ask for.
Naomi dragged the old sled through the big house, setting it up next to the window in his bedroom. Gramps looked at her like she'd lost her mind. She just smiled at him and sat on the bed next to him.
"This is my present to you Gramps. Merry Christmas!"
She hopped up and opened the curtains to reveal the first heavy snowfall of the December. Big, white flakes of snow fell so thickly through the morning air and across the back lawn that finding the sledding hill was nearly impossible.
"What are you doin' Naomi?" Gramps asked with a puzzled looked between Naomi and the sled.
She looked at the window and pointed towards the sledding hill. "Do you remember the first time you ever went sledding?"
Gramps shifted in the hospital bed, weathered hands loosely gripping the blankets at his chest. He smiled at his grand daughter with pride. "Sure I do. I've told you that story a million times. I nearly busted my neck! My older brothers put me on that sled when I was only four."
Naomi sat back down on the bed. "Tell me again Gramps." Her eyes misted and she smiled as she waited to hear the story once more.
Corrina Terry Copyright 2010
Photo courtesy of Willow @ http://magpietales.blogspot.com/2010/12/mag-44.html
This story is dedicated to my Gramps---the one and only Grampa Dan. I can't wait to see you again!