Monday, September 1, 2008

Cotton Candy and a Horse

I am the goofy Grandfather. How did I live before my Grand Children? I miss Denver so I see Cordelia more and more but it does not ease the pain in my heart for those lost moments with Denver.

My asthma makes my life miserable. My throat burns from the invisible predator of pollution from coal burning power plants. I cough and gasp for air. I must live to see my Grandson. I must live to be with my Granddaughter.

I drive the long drive to Independence Missouri to see my Granddaughter. My lungs burn and my finger tips are numb. Now my toes are numb and I'm seeing spots. I'm not getting enough oxygen so I pull the car over to a parking lot.

"Please God let me breath."

I get a drink of soda and find some cough drops in the car. I feel nothing but pain but I drive on.
I pull into the driveway of my son's house. I feel a hundred years old as I pull myself out of my car. Death stalks me as I walk though their white picket fence and knock on the front door.

"Come on in."

I enter and my beautiful extended family is in the living room. Cordelia smiles when she sees me and I forget the pain in my limbs.

"Do you want to go to the fair with us dad?"

We're all walking to the fair on the court house square.

I volunteer to push Cordelia in her stroller the half mile to the fair. She looks back at me as I push her with a huge grin on her face, like its some kind of honor to have me push her. Cordelia's parents walk in front of us holding hands and Cordelia giggles at the sight of this.

My throat is closing up and my lungs begin to burn again. Fingers and toes start to go numb.
My legs ache more with each step. My son sees I'm having trouble breathing and offers to push Cordelia. I say I'm fine and pretend the pain isn't there. Soon I'm having trouble keeping up with my son and his wife.

"Dad let me take over."

I let my son push the stroller and wonder what happened to the man that walked twenty miles every Saturday.

Seeing the fair through my grand daughters eyes was wonderful. She tasted Cotton Candy for the first time and loved it. When we were leaving we walked over to a horse that was pulling a wagon for rides at the fair. With a little coxing from her mom, dad and me, Cordelia petted her first horse. She giggled as she touched the gentle beast forehead.

I drove home that night in pain but my asthma hadn't defeated me for I saw my grand daughter with cotton candy and a horse.

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