You’ll Always Be His Peanut

, , , , , , | Related | August 19, 2020

Growing up, my paternal grandpa is my best friend. My parents like to tell the story that we were linked the second he held me in his arms; he saw my tiny face with my little peanut nose, and from that moment on, he only ever called me Peanut… unless I was in trouble, of course. 

My grandpa put me on my first horse, and he taught me how to change my oil and check my tire pressure, bait a hook and catch a fish, and shoot a BB gun — much to my parents’ disdain. He was at every softball game and every musical, choir, and band performance I had. He was my biggest fan, always encouraging me to go the extra mile and celebrating every step of the way.

I’m in my mid-thirties now and he’s nearing ninety. His health has been declining for several years now, but this year, 2020, has been especially rough. He often gets confused, thinking my dad is his brother or thinking it’s the 1990s and that we need to get ready for the big snowstorm coming in.

I go home one day in June for the first time since the health crisis began and see that his home care nurse is there. My grandma is in the kitchen with my parents, waiting for the nurse to finish dressing him so he can sit in the living room.

I stand in the doorway, not sure if I am really up for seeing my grandpa in such a dissociative state; my mental health has really taken a hit with everything going on and, standing in the doorway, I debate if coming home was a good idea.

The bedroom door opens and Grandpa comes out with his walker, focusing on the floor.

Nurse: “That’s it, [Grandpa], one step at a time. Don’t you feel better now?”

My grandpa speaks in a tone that shows he doesn’t mean it.

Grandpa: “Uh-huh…”

The nurse looks up at the table.

Nurse: “Oh, you have company! Who’s here today?”

Grandpa: “Um…”

He looks from my mom to my grandma, confused.

Nurse: “It’s okay; take your time. Who do you see?”

My grandpa looks to my dad.

Grandpa: “I see [My Uncle].”

Nurse: “Well, they do look alike but I think that’s [My Dad].”

Grandpa: “Okay.”

Nurse: “Who else? Who is that by the door?”

Grandpa looks at me for a second or two and then smiles.

Grandpa: “Hi, Peanut!”

Me: *Trying not to cry* “Hi, Grandpa.”

I haven’t seen him much these past few months, but I’m hoping to be able to go home and see him again soon.


This story is part of our feel-good roundup for August 2020!

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