Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My Grandpa Jack

If you don't know, my Grandpa Jack, my Dad's Dad is an incredible man. He has worked hard his whole life and although I don't see him and My Grandma as much as I see my other grandparents, we are still really close. I talk on the phone with them every weekend and even though every weekend it gets harder and harder, I still call. My Grandpa has advanced Alzheimer disease. It's a really awful disease, and makes me really sad. BUT, I just remember each and every time we talk that he has lived an incredibly full life and I want to share a little story about him and about a tattoo I have for him.

In the 1930s, my grandpa broke a record with three of his friends for bicycle endurance. He and his friends, all under the age of 15, rode one bicycle for 6 weeks straight during the summertime. When there was a flat tire, one person pushed the bike on one wheel, while another changed the tire. They changed places by hopping off one side while another hopped on the other. They never stopped riding. He was featured in the newspaper and won a bunch of great prizes. They were local celebrities. Every time I talk to him, he tells me this incredible story. It is a story I will hold close to my heart forever.
My dear friend Isaiah Camacho, owner of the very lovely Staring Without Caring Tattoo Parlor, drew this up after hearing the story and I'm sorry I don't have better photos ( I am so bad about taking photos of my tattoos) but it is a road bike with globes as wheels and four young acrobats balancing on the handlebars. They are holding a banner that says "I Remember."
This is an old photo that you can see most of my arm. It's such a fun tattoo that has a really great story. I am proud to have it on my arm. I once told my Grandpa about it (he forgot moments later) and his instant reaction was "Why would you let someone do that to you?" and I laughed and then he asked me if I was married, again...

Anyways, I miss my Grandpa. I don't know if I will get to see him again, realistically, but I think of him often, in fact, every time I look down at my arm. I am so lucky that all of my grandparents are still living. And although Alzheimer's is a horrible disease, he really has lived a wonderful life and taught me some great lessons and left me with some wonderful memories.

He told me once to always look down when I walk around, because you never know what you could find on the ground. He found an entire roll of stamps, $100 worth. He didn't have to buy stamps again for a year.

On the fourth of July when I was 8, we picked wild flowers for my Grandma and then got dairy queen and watched fire works on a hill side in Michigan. My Dad was having a rough time then, it was right after the divorce, so we took a road trip to see his parents and it was a very interesting trip. To say the least, but that was the best part of it.

Grandpa paints water color paintings and he gave me one. It was ruined in a move from one house to another and I was devastated. I still am. I think I get my love for water color from him.

Too many lovely things to think of instead of the devastatingly deterioration of a man's most precious treasures. Memories...

Do you have a story from your grandpa you cherish? I want to know!!


(ps, my computer had a total and absolute meltdown today, we got a scary virus that took half the day of panic and finally our new neighbor computer wiz fixing it. UGH! So frustrating but I am SO SO SO grateful for new friends.)


  1. My grandpa also has Alzheimers and it is really tough. But I enjoy getting to hear his stories from WWII, getting his PhD, and starting out as a professor and educator.

  2. The war stories are crazy, my other grandpa wont even talk about it. Thanks for sharing.