Kurtz…

A granddaughter’s love

Chuck Kurtz

Chuck Kurtz

April and May, especially May, are the big birthday months for grandchildren: Carys in Colorado turned 7; Alexandra in Seattle turns 15; Ashlyn in Olathe soon will be 3; and a new grandson in Olathe likely is going to arrive sometime in May.

For the record, Rylin in Olathe turns 6 in August and Dylan in Colorado will be 9 in October.

Not long ago, after Ashlyn and I had walked home from school with Rylin, we were sitting at the kitchen table; they eating their afternoon snack, I drinking a cup of coffee and the conversation was centered on Ashlyn’s upcoming birthday.

“How old are you going to be?” I asked Ashlyn.

“Three,” she replied while stuffing her mouth with blue berries.

“What do you want for your birthday?” I asked.

“She wants a bunny,” Rylin said.

“A bunny,” Ashlyn said. “I am a bunny.”

“You are? Well, that’s nice,” I said. “Three years old! You’re getting to be a big girl.”

And then the conversation got ugly.

“How old are you?” Rylin asked me.

“I’m 65,” I said. “I’m 60 years older than you are.”

She looked at me and I could see the cogs turning as she mulled and calculated the numbers in her mind. Then, without missing a bite of blue berries, she came to a conclusion, “You’re almost a hundred.”

“Almost. In 35 years I’ll be 100,” I said.

And then, again without missing a bite, she looked at me, thought for a moment, and then said matter-of-factly, ” I don’t think you’re going to make it!”

Somewhat taken aback, I wasn’t quite sure how to respond. I slowly sipped my coffee. I mean, I realize I’m on the downhill side of life. But at the same time, I’m hoping there still are several good years left in this old body. Then I began thinking, “Is this kid psychic?…No, I mean, living to be 100 is a long shot, but more and more people are doing it every year. Heck, with the advances in medicine, especially in the future, I could even live past 100!…But then again…”

I looked back at Rylin, who was still eating blue berries.

“Well, I might not make it to 100, but you just never know,” I said. “You just have to make the best of every day.”

I started talking philosophically about age and life, but was cut short when Rylin ran out of blue berries.

“Can we go play now?” she asked.

“Sure,” I said.

The next day, when the kids’ mom came home from work, Rylin went over to her and was whispering to her. I saw her mom nod her head and say something and then Rylin came over to me.

“You need to eat healthier,” she said.

“OK.”

“And you need to start exercising,” she said.

“OK.”

“You need to lose weight, too,” she said.

“OK.”

“Yeah, Rylin’s been really worried about you for some reason,” her mom said.

I told her about our birthday conversation the day before and about Rylin’s prediction of me not reaching the age of 100.

“Oh, now it makes sense,” she said. “Rylin was wanting to know what you could do to live longer.”

That’s called a granddaughter’s love and I’ve taken it to heart. I would write more, but it’s now time for my morning walk, which is part of my new daily exercise program followed by a healthy breakfast!

One Response

  1. Chuck: Nice piece of writing about the granddaughter. Very nice. — David Chartrand

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