It’s been awhile since I’ve told a story about Popaw.
First, let me give you a little health update on him. Two times this year he has been near death. However, in perfect Troy fashion, he’s rebounding and enjoying life again.
Most recently, he has been in Hospice care at The Bridge. After a few months of good loving care, his weakened body has regained strength and his suppressed appetite has been restored. This week he graduated out of Hospice care. Terry often says, “He’s a tough old bird.” I like to thing of him as a Timex: He takes a licking and keeps on ticking.
On Thursday, while visiting, I walked him to the elevator to go down for dinner. Three women with walkers were also waiting to go down. Being the gentleman, Popaw said, “Honey, we’ll just wait for the next one.”
All three women along with their gear rolled into the elevator. Once securely in they encouraged us to get in stating there was “plenty” of room for us.
Popaw was still hesitant but I convinced him there was room. He rolled walker over the threshold. The door closed and for a brief moment there was silence. Then he smiled at me and said, “I didn’t think there would be room for us with all of the these fat ladies in here”
Surprised by his comment, I stood speechless and quiet! Then I wanted to burst out laughing but knew that would be positively inappropriate, considering two of the women were rather large. Silence fell for a few moments and I was hopeful all three ladies were hearing impaired or had not heard his comment. Much to my dismay, they heard plainly.
One spoke up to say, “Did you hear what he just said? He called us fat! I don’t think I like him anymore”
Now I really had to keep myself contained and not burst into a fit of laughter. As I was trying, with all my might, to remain composed and stoic, another lady spoke up and said, “Well, I guess he was just talking about the two of us because the one in the back is as skinny as a rail.”
The elevator came to a halt and Popaw turned to them with a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face and said, “I knew that would keep things lively.”
The doors opened and we all disbursed.
I kissed him goodbye as he went into the dining hall. As I walked away I thought, “I guess you can get away with saying just about anything when you get old.”
Later that evening, I replayed our visit that day. We had talked about a lot a things but near the end of our conversation he began to talk about Colleen and how much he missed her. “It’s hard to believe she’s been gone for eight years. You know, time is a funny thing. In some ways it moves so fast and other ways it seems to drag on.” Quite frankly, I am glad that his life continues to drag on because it gives me precious moments like these to spend time with him.