Only occasionally do I stop and remember how it felt when my grandfather was sick, beginning with an unfortunate accident when I was around eight years old, and ending with his death after seven years of complications and medical drama. During those years, there were times when he was in a coma and it seemed he wouldn’t make it, times when I visited him in the hospital and he was awake and alert and even times when he was at home and relatively healthy. When I would hear him walking around the house with a walker or talking on the phone, it reminded me of when he was healthy, and I would begin to hope that he might fully recover.
He never did fully recover. He died in the hospital when I was in the eighth grade. By then, it was hard to remember him as a vibrant grandfather, and the lovely memories I had from when I was younger were mostly overshadowed by those of him being sick, and often withdrawn, due to illness, and I suppose, lots of pain. Throughout it all, he was always kind, and though he was often a little reserved I never had any reason to doubt the love I’d felt as a small child from him.
His death marked the passing of not only a great man, but also the person who was a hero to his granddaughter, who remembers him as a kindly adult in this otherwise confusing world. Though it has been several years since his passing, whenever I stop and think about my grandfather’s presence in my childhood, I once again feel the warmth of the kindness of the great man who I was fortunate to call my Zaidy.
In loving memory of my Zaidy, Mr. Leo Weiner, Eliezer Lipa Ben Boruch.