On the first day of vacation, our relatives came to us. One from Beersheva. Three from Helsinki, One from Boston, and two (eventually) from down in Se-attle.
There were some kerfuffles:
One lost dog in Israel
One lost bag in Manchester
One left Iphone at SeaTac airport.
The phone was recovered, the dog was found and the bag is finally on its way here.
We all slept like babies. In every nook and cranny. On the couches and the chaise lounges, resting at the table, practically falling into our soup (if we'd actually had any).
Then we called up Grampie, told him we were coming.
And... I'll tell you. He was STUNNED. He couldn't believe his Finnish family was here. He couldn't believe it. Beve had told him yesterday. We've been telling him for weeks. But every day's a new day to him. So today, it was a surprise. Like he'd won the lottery. The biggest jackpot in Vegas history. In the history of any jackpots. Well, the grand-prize of all surprises. Yep, that's what this morning was to Grampie.
See, he got out of bed on a regular Friday morning, a day like any other and before he had his lunch that day had taken a left turn into glorious. With the gift of his son and family from across the sea. A family he wasn't sure he'd ever see again on this side of glory.
And he knew them. Every single one of them. Even the two he hasn't seen in over a decade. You should have seen his smile. Really. It generated enough wattage to light up the whole facility and made me cry to see. To see him love like that, to see him so full of joy. There have just been so many days when he's put on a fine face in the face of all that is not fine that to see him have something REALLY fine. Well, that's fine, indeed.
So he'll be with us every day for the next five weeks. Taking his naps here, being our 88 year old baby. Having to be reassured, reminded and cajoled into certain things, pulled back from others. But he'll love every minute of it. Even if tomorrow morning it's all new again. Even if every single morning it's like a big surprise that they're here--come to celebrate him and listen to his stories one last time. Come to sit by him and watch him move those large hands expressively side-to-side while he makes a point, to hold his tongue that certain way when he tries to cut his meat and watch him frown his half moon frown when the world rushes past. Here to listen as he reads aloud every sign or incorporates others' words into the middle of his sentences: I was thinking so the Mariners leave two men stranded that this is the most precious of last gifts--if you know what I it's the hopper mean.
Seriously though, this will be the most precious of summers. Our Giants (and my own beloved BB) live together in our home as one big Clan of family. With a patriarch in a wheelchair, wearing a WSU "adult bib" presiding at the end of the table.
On the first day of vacation, our family came to us.
And we called it, called it, called it very good.