My dad was always quite the entertainer. He was a wonderful singer and dancer, and a great storyteller as well. He loved impersonating characters he would see on television. Do you remember Crazy Guggenheim on The Jackie Gleason Show? Dad loved him and did a great impersonation. He also loved The Mad Russian. When dad would enter a room he would often bellow "How do you do?" just like him. You couldn't help but laugh when he did it. Even as dad's Alzheimer's progressed he would still make my boys laugh like crazy with his goofy voices. He hasn't been able to do any of that lately and I wonder how long it will be before my boys forget all about how fun grandpa could be.
I was getting really sad thinking about it the other day. Wondering how much time my dad has left. How he really isn't himself anymore no matter how hard he tries. How my kids won't remember grandpa the way he used to be. They won't remember how they would beg my dad, "Grandpa, say 'how do you do' again!" over and over. They won't remember how grandpa could be the life of the party.
Just as the lump in my throat was getting close to bursting Tommy walked in the room and said in his best "grandpa" impersonation voice, "How do you do?" and laughed and laughed. I just looked at him, stunned. How did he know to say that at that moment? How did he know that was exactly what I needed to hear?
My eyes filled with tears. I bent down, cradled Tommy's face in my hands, and kissed his sweet little cheeks. They may not remember him as they get older but I will tell them all I know. And he will always be a part of them. Always.