Some thoughts on grandfather's this father's day
A shout out to a special man this Father's Day
“Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children.”
— Alex Haley
Late last year, I got quite the scare. I've suffered my fair share of family illness of late, but this one hit a little harder than expected.
I've been especially lucky in my nearly three decades on this earth to have the great opportunity to know and love Harold Ray Mosby — my grandfather — better known to us grandkids as Nandad.
The news came swiftly, suddenly and painfully — Nandad had been diagnosed with cancer.
When I heard the news, all I wanted to do was scream. Yet all I did was sit and cry, silent rivers streaming down my face.
You see, the news didn't come at the greatest of times (but then again, when is a good time to discover you're favorite grandfather has cancer?)
Some of my earliest memories of my Nandad involve him creeping into my room at the crack of dawn, standing over my bed and letting out a squawk loud enough to wake the recently, and some not so recently, departed that are planted in the family plot just down the road. Each time, I’d jump a foot off the bed, my heart in my throat, breathing like I'd just run a marathon. Nandad would just kiss me on my forehead, tell me breakfast was ready and cackle all the way back to the kitchen.
My father swears Nandad did the same to him when he was growing up, and sometimes I wonder if that man just ain’t quite right.
While I had the distinct honor of “suffering” in the sanctity of my bedroom, some members of my family have not been so lucky.
A much-told family story has evolved involving Nandad, my very pregnant Aunt Lisa, and a very interesting trip to a Memphis-area Stein Mart.
According to family lore, Nandad accompanied my aunt, my Uncle Paul and my grandmother shopping, when at some point, the men-folk and the women-folk got separated. After several minutes of searching, Nandad got frustrated and did what only comes natural to him — he started crowing in the middle of Stein Mart.
That’s right, folks. My grandaddy crows — you know, like the bird.
Like the Red Sea, the crowd parted as Nandad and my uncle, who was at this point walking several paces behind his father-in-law, made their way to my utterly mortified aunt and grandmother.
Sensing the little men in white coats were imminent, the Mosbys made a hasty retreat.
And that, ladies and gents, is just the tip of the iceberg. Woe be to anyone who dares to fall asleep when Nandad is around. I can’t count the times I’ve woken up with knots in my hair and my shoes tied together, assuming of course the infernal man hasn’t hidden them. Folks, that man can find the most peculiar places to hide my shoes —under furniture, outside in the bushes, even in the deep freezer. After a visit to Coahoma, I never know if I’m going to go home with cold feet or bare feet.
Although he can never be considered a normal fella, my Nandad is most defiantly one of the bravest. Because, you see, my Nandad taught me how to drive. No easy task for the faint of heart, but Nandad survived my learning curve, which included a close call with a farm butane tank and the misguided notion that it was okay to drive with both feet at the same time.
And now he'd been diagnosed with cancer. Granted, it was Stage I and his chances of a full recovery are very high. But the man is in his 80s for heaven’s sake.
To say I was concerned would qualify as the understatement of the year.
But sometimes prayers do get answered and if there is a higher power up there somewhere, he or she certainly granted mine.
A few months later, we got the good news — Nandad was cancer-free. A fairly new procedure had rendered his body free from the dreaded big C.
So on this Father's Day, as I sit in my home, hundreds of miles from his home — that same home where he awakened me with crowings, tied my hair in knots, hid my shoes and taught me what uncompromising love is — I will pick up the phone and give him a call, all the while, thanking my lucky stars I still have that rare and oh so precious chance to do so.
Because you see my dear readers, he is my Nandad, and I do love him so.
Logan Mosby is Content Editor for Writerspace.com.