Last week was the last time I saw my Grandpa Art before his passing Tuesday night. My father took me to the Bellflower hospital where he was staying. Before entering the room, my father and I had to suit up from head to toe in plastic. The nurse said this was to protect us from getting one of his illnesses. I was already upset by this blue plastic outfit which kept me at distance from Grandpa Art.
I never called Art, Grandpa till now. My Grandmother had remarried when I was about 3 or so to Art. Art was the only Grandpa I ever knew, but for some reason we were never prompted to call him Grandpa. This past Christmas, I got a gift, as always from Art and Grandma. This year it was signed Grandma and Grandpa. I was so moved by this simple gesture, that I kept the card. I wanted to keep it to remind me that I had a Grandpa.
As my father and I entered the hospital room, I noticed the view of Los Angeles. It was so vast and the buildings were so big. I knew that in Art's 90 years of life, that he had seen those buildings go up. I then wondered what it was like for Art to come to California as a Mid- West farm boy from Minnesota. These were questions that would never be answered.
I remember Art laying in his hospital bed. His eyes were closed and his false teeth were not in. I told him that I loved him. He said he loved me back. My father then asked him about the Lakers and if they were going to take the finals this year. Art said 'no'. My father and I looked at eachother. We knew something was very wrong. Art had always been a hard core Lakers fan, even back when he lived in Minnesota. When he said the Lakers were going to lose, my father and I almost cried. Ever game since then had been a test. Would they win or lose like Art said. I was nervous. I remembered Art crying when Kobe set a 61 point record at Madison Square Garden.
So now I lay here in bed. Wearing my #24 Lakers jersey, remembering the only Grandfather I ever had. Thank you Art for everything. I love you so much.
I knew I'd regret not calling you Grandpa.