I am luckier than most kids. I mean, most kids have one grandparent (or both, or perhaps even more than that) to call their very own.
I have thirty. Yes, you read right. Thirty. And all live at the Golden Acres Nursing Home. They are all absolutely wonderful!
My own grandparents both died when I was real young: they died when I was three years old. It was because of a sudden plane crash off of the coast of Florida. They died instantly, according to my parents. (They were my father's parents.)
Dad doesn't like to talk about it or bring it up because it only upsets him.
Anyway, back to my story. I used to get jealous of my pals 'cause they would tell me about all the great gifts their grandparents would get them for their birthdays or on holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, or the Fourth of July. It made me feel a bit melancholy 'cause I really never knew what it was like to have a grandparent spoil me like that.
I don't even remember them 'cuase they died when I was so young.
Well, when a friend's grandfather ended up at the Golden Acres Nursing Home because he couldn't take care of himself any longer, Max said that I could become his "adopted grandson" (meaning his granddad's, not his LOL). Of course, I immediately accepted the offer. "Grandpa" Holcombe was so cool: he loved to entertain both Max and I by taking his false teeth out and trying to tell us stories or jokes. We couldn't understand a word he said, but Max and I would howl with laughter. We found it to be hilarious!
Then I met Max's grandfather's friends. There were at least thirty of them. Let's see: there was Grandma Miriam, who at ninety-nine, was the oldest of the crew, but she had a mind like a steel trap. It was sharp! She was tiny: less than four-foot-seven in height, and weighing maybe 80 pounds soaking wet.
Then there was Grandma Helene, who spoke English with a very thick Cajun French accent. She was from Louisiana, a fiery Cajun lady with bright coppery-red hair and blazing black eyes. She told dirty jokes and would bet on the horse races nearly every weekend (and would usually end big).
Next was Grandpa Pickles, so named because of the giant wart-like growth on his nose, who liked to talk about his cat, "Milo", and how he and his wife, Sweetie, would go on trips all over the world. They went everywhere: Alaska. Mexico. The Caribbean Islands. Tahiti. Hawai'i. Scandinavia/Europe. Africa. Russia. Asia. The only continent they hadn't been on was Antarctica. They were going to go there on a cruise when Sweetie sickened with cancer and eventually died shortly therafter.
Another one whom I adored was Felipe'. Felipe' primarily spoke Spanish, but that was okay: Max spoke Spanish; he took it at school, so he was able to translate for me. "Abuelo" Felipe' would sneak jalapeno peppers for both Max and myself; we ate them like popcorn. Later that day, I would go home and burp in my little bratty sister's face, just to get her to stop annoying me. LOL
These were a few of the characters I came to know -- and love ---, as though they were all my own grandparents. I soon got spoiled by them. Every holiday they'd give me a little cash or a card, just to let me know that they thought of me.
It was great!!
And it still is. Whoever thought I would end up with thirty grandparents?? They are all so cool, and I would trade any of them for my own family! I love them all so much!
Perhaps the coolest thing of all? They don't laugh at me whenever I stumble with my writing or reading (I have ADHD and learning disabilities; I may also have dyslexia). They all treat like there's nothing wrong with me, and I really love (and appreciate) that!!