Today I drove home in a downpour of rain. I'd walked from the office to the car not far away and had gotten quite wet. I thought, 'Nope a little water won't hurt me any.'
That took me down memory lane.
Crusty old fella, wirey, small. He always wore wool pants. Even in the summer time. I can recall that he wasn't much on bathing. He thought washing up in rain water once in a while was pretty good enough.
When he was put in a nursing home for dementia amongst other health issues, I went to visit him. I was a young adult and had my own car.
I met Grandpa in the hallway. Things were different then. Grandpa was tied with strips of cotton to his wheel chair.
He recognized me and asked if I had my car. I said yes, in fact I did.
He grinned without any teeth [he'd been given false teeth, but didn't wear them]. 'Good,' he said, 'let's get out of here! They're trying to kill me!'
'Oh how Grandpa,' I replied. I knew he was tied because of the many escape attempts he'd done. He was pretty good at it too.
He leaned against his restraints and said.
I looked confused, I guess because he went on to explain.
'You know, a man ain't made for all that washing. Too much of it will take the strength from a fellow. A bath should be done in the spring and in the fall.'
I shrugged, his aversion to baths wasn't new to me.
'Listen up,' he said, 'they are bathing me every day in here. I can feel it, they are gonna kill me with baths, I'm gettin' weaker all the time.'
That was the last conversation I had with Grandpa. In fact I think he only lived 3 more weeks there. I'm sure he died of a logical medical malaise that I didn't really know about. But part of me remembers with a slight smile on my face.
'Bathing too often wasn't good for a man.'
'It done took all his strength.'
Memories. Funny how they just happen.
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