This last week, my parents have been dealing with a vehicle issue- one is in the shop, and the other is used pretty much full-time by my dad for his work. So he's been taking Mom to work in the early morning, picking her up in the evening. Given her schedule as a school bus driver, this is kinda lousy for Mom, but it is what it is.
My husband and I have been asked to help out while Mom can't come home during her breaks. See, Grandpa lives with them. He isn't who he used to be. He has a hard time remembering.. a lot of things- his sons' birth-order, how long he was a scout master, my name, even though I'm his oldest grandchild and I've been around an awful lot in the last 10 years.
Anyway, the request is for one of us to go over about noon, visit with him, maybe encourage him to go on a walk or drink more water. Put together his lunch and eat at about 1:00, and make sure the kitchen is cleaned up afterward.
Wednesday, as I was getting in my car to leave after lunch with Grandpa, a neighbor lady drove past. (Note: She moved into the neighborhood about the same time my parents did.. about 30 years ago, so I know her well!) Her car was making an awful racket! I could see that something was dragging on the front of her car, but I couldn't tell what it was. I hopped in my car and followed her all three houses away, parked on her curb, and rushed up as she was getting out of her car.
While she was saying, "I'm sorry, no, I don't know what it is..."
I was saying, "Hang on, Ruth. Something's hanging from your car. Lemme see what it is, see if I can fix it!
I plopped myself down on the cold cement in front of her car. As I laid there, I realized again, "I'm becoming my father!" Ruth laughed as she stood over me when I said that.
|Ruth, our "other grandma"|
I explained this to her and we went inside to see if she had the necessary hardware. She didn't. She had some bolts that would have worked perfectly.. but no nuts to fit the threads.
"I'll take this bolt over to my dad's and see if he's got a nut to fit. I'll be right back."
"Is he home? Do you really think...? Well of course he would have something that will work!" She knows my dad well!
I ran back to my dad's garage (where he was still fighting with Mom's car) and asked what he had to help me. He pulled out a #10 can with various odds and ends in it. He didn't have a nut to fit the bolt I'd brought, but he had another bolt/nut that he gave me. I dropped Ruth's bolt in his can and ran back to her house.
I went directly to her car port, and laid down in front of the car. I hand-tightened the bolt/nut into place then went inside.
"So did he have something that will work?"
"Yeah.. it's fixed."
"Already? You work faster than you talk!"
We visited for a little bit longer, and then I left. It felt good to be able to help in such a simple but important way.