Significant Person

March 10, 2009
By Anonymous

I love to think about him and remember him. He touched everyone who knew him. When I say 'he' I am referring to my great grandpa, Jake J Nelson. I don't remember much of the time we spent together, but I do have a few memories that will be with me forever. This is a story about an amazing person who lived an amazing life; I wish that you could have met him.
We are on our way to my great grandpa's home, my mom, dad, brother, and I. Pulling onto the gravel driveway around one o' clock in the afternoon; I notice that he has been waiting for our arrival. He sits in his wooden rocking chair on the front porch so that he can greet us immediately upon arrival. We all walk towards the family room, his soft laughter leading the way. As I walk in the smell of cigarette smoke overwhelms me. One of his favorite westerns, Gunsmoke blaring in the corner, my brother and I plopped down in front of it and zoomed right in. My parents sit on the couch and my grandpa on his favorite green chair. I sit still watching the TV but am tuned into my grandpa's conversation with my parents. I pay attention to the sound of his voice; it's so soft and loving. I turn my head slightly to study him, take it all in. He sits slightly slouched, with one leg crossed on top of the other. His lengthily body, as thin as a twig. He has on a pair of faded blue Wrangler jeans with a patch covering one knee, a plaid blue button up cotton shirt over a white t-shirt, and a pair of brown slippers resting on top of tall white socks. His blue eyes wandered my way, and he gave me a wink without even leaving his conversation. His white/grey hair sits still, fading from the top of his head. Large ears protrude from the sides of his oval head, and he has a nose to match them. There is a story that he used to tell my mother that she now tells me. He used to tell her that when he first came into this world god asked him what kind of ears he wanted, but he thought god said what kind of beers do you want, so he replied "give me a couple of big cold ones!" Then god asked him what kind of nose he wanted, but Jake thought he said what kind of rose do you want, so he said, "Give me a huge red one!" So then he was stuck with those large ears and nose. I love that story.
He sticks up his long boney forefinger and motioned for me to come to him. I obeyed, and dashed to him, he asks me to go to the fridge and retrieve him a slim fast, the only thing he drinks besides his beloved beer. I make my way over the golden yellow fridge, with my brother close on my heels. I can't break the drink from its gripping plastic so my brother helps me. Other than the slim fast drinks, all that sat in the lonely fridge were a few beers and a carton of eggs; it's as empty as a bears belly in the wintertime. I wonder what he eats because I can't find anything else, noting in the drawers and nothing in the cabinets. When I bring the cool drink to him, he reaches to his left with his free hand and grabs a handful of his favorite treat, white, red, and green peppermints he split them between himself my brother and I and said, 'Thank you sweetie.' The mints, are so sweet, but do not compare to him. I just stood there looking at him for a minute, old age has taken him over and yet I can see so much life in his slightly sunken in eyes. They can be compared to the bright the North Star. I wonder what he would have been doing if he were in his younger years. He points my brother and I in the direction of the corner adjacent to him. We both knew what he motioned to, we run over there faster that ever before. In the corner sat upright an old vase-like container that held a few small balloons connected to sticks. My brother and I love to play with them when we come over. I pick up the purple and pink flower and he chooses the wooded house. We played for a while but then mom and dad rounded us up, it's time to leave. I don't want to go just yet, but mom explains that grandpa needs to rest for a while. We put the balloons back for next time and we say our good byes. I got the last hug, what a sweet old man; I never want to let go. As we drive away I can see him waving to us through the large glass window, and I wave right back. Seeing his smile melts my heart.

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