The soldier and I were talking about lemonade which I do not like. He is distraught over this (his word) because he loves lemonade and he’s gone as far as to say if we’d have met a kids (little kids… 8 years old or something) he might not have liked me.
“I think I’d have wanted to have me a lemonade-drinkin’ woman,” he said. “You know. I want to drink some lemonade with my girl.” We were getting into the bathtub at the time.
“Henry (my grandfather) wanted a glass of lemonade once,” I said. “He was dying.”
“Yeah. I had him in my car and I was driving him around and he was dying. I had taken him out of the hospital, see? And we were driving around doing some things and he said he wanted a glass of lemonade. He was having a craving, I guess. We was actually licking his lips and asking for some lemonade… wishing for it. I got him some, thank God. Boy am I glad I did that because then he died.”
He looked at me.
“Yeah, I got him the lemonade which was not the easiest thing to do.”
“Where the hell do you find lemonade?”
“Lemonade is not hard to find.”
“The hell it isn’t. It’s not like we could be running in and out of places asking if they had lemonade. He was dying in my car. You just can’t drag him into a bunch of restaurants. But he sure wanted a glass of lemonade and I did get him one and he drank it. He was damned happy too and 10 hours later he was dead so you see what I mean. Thank God I got him that lemonade because I really didn’t know he was going to die that soon. Basically that lemonade was the last thing he wanted as far as I know.”
“Is this why you don’t like lemonade?”
“No, I have never liked lemonade but Henry liked it and I sure am glad I paid attention that day. I was 21 and supposed to get him back to the hospital. I have no idea how I’d feel if I’d have not done done that… found him some lemonade. But I did find him a glass and boy was he happy. In fact, he said it was the best lemonade he ever had in his life, I said, smiling lopsidedly.
“Get in the tub, P. Get in here with me.”
What can I possibly say after a story like that? Anything I say including this just rings hollow.
Perhaps someonelses words?
‘But soon we shall die and all memory of those five will have left the earth, and we ourselves shall be loved for a while and forgotten. But the love will have been enough, all those impulses of love return to the love that made them. Even memory is not necessary for love. There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.’
From ‘The bridge of San Luis Rey’ by Thorton Wilder
…i wish i could have done something like that for my grandpa.
Its odd…reminds me of the evening my dad passed. Without going through the long story, he was at home & lying on the couch – ambulance had been called, dad asked for his shoes & mom told me to go upstairs & get them. Im ashamed to admit my first thought was “I cant” & it came with a squeamish sort of feeling.. like “ewwwww no I cant” because I knew when I came down with them I was expected to just put them on his feet. I cant explain why i felt that way except that a part of me must have known he wasnt going to live (however it wasnt apparant to us just then) and I have a real phobia of dead people. But I did it anyway, got the shoes & as I was putting them on his feet I had this…I dunno.. double thought/looped thought going through my head. On one hand I was thinking “How silly you were being, this isnt as bad as I thought.. its just dad” and the other thought (the one that kept looping) was “putting shoes on the man who didnt have any” (my dad was the son of a sharecropper, grew up very very VERY poor and very rarely had shoes). He did indeed die & I was VERY glad (like you Elsa) that I did what was asked of me…amounting to a dying request I suppose.
the last thing my father asked for was a glass of water in a glass glass, not plastic glass. He was a leo, with a capricorn moon. I felt So bad that people had been bringing him his water in a plastic cup.
Variety is the spice of life. Do you like Iced Tea? You can mix ’em, half and half. Try it. Tasty stuff. 🙂
I can only imagine that he was so pleased to have someone that was really there for him!
How can you not like lemonade Elsa…lol… by the way I got the job, just in time, right on the eclipse, had to sweat out the decision that night. Flight nurse hacked into M’s facebook, 272 guys, but all she thinks about is how she messed up with me. Even does drive by’s according to a questionaire she answered which was read to me by the Flight nurse who admits to starting trouble 2 years ago during the week prior to the August 17th 2008 eclipse; she is even worse than M. Daisy and I continue to get along famously, better than any romance novel. Im going to call her bluff. Wanted to send you all this in an email, but need to save the money; and thanks again; I dont get my first paycheck for two weeks.
Just sitting here, blown away (once again). What an honor… thank you for sharing this unique experience! *cheers.Henry*
Thank you, Carrie. 🙂
Elsa, it makes me smile to know you have a man like that. And I don’t like lemonade either. Never have! I don’t like tea, either. heh
During my mother’s illness, the medication caused her to develop diabetes. No more candy! It was hell for her – sitting around, waiting to die, and no damned M&Ms. About three weeks before she died, she said to me “I sure hope they have M&Ms in heaven.”
I thought the whole thing sucked. The cancer was advancing, she wasn’t going to live long, and all she wanted was some M&Ms? I went and bought one of those packages with the “snack size” packs of plain M&Ms. I let her have one package each evening. She could make that tiny pack last for an hour or more…she’d just put one in her mouth and relish it until it was gone.
I worried at first – “am I killing her?” But I wasn’t killing her, that damned disease was killing her. Nothing I could do would change the course, but I could give her some happiness in those last days. It seemed like not a big deal at the time, but 20 years later? I feel blessed I was able to do that for her. It was little to me, but huge for her.
I like that at the end Elsa…I bet it was the Soldier’s too!…haha! Glad you got your Grandpa that lemonaide…at least he went happy! Glad at least too you were with him!
such a poignant post, and everyone who had a similar story to share! make you really think…wow..just wow..
Thanks, jerriattricks. 🙂
How old was Henry when he died? What were his beliefs about death? Was he conscious that he was dying? And what did he die from?
I want to know everything about this amazing person.
I was surprised that Aquarius was not his dominant sign.
He died in 83 @ 83.
I have the lemonade post about his death. I think I’ll wait and see if there are more questions… maybe answer them in a new post.
Everything about him is very interesting. I think it would be good to write about this now.
I will also look for old posts which may no longer be live. Thanks.