As usual I woke up to the sound of my father pounding on my bedroom door, hollering, “Get up! Get on your feet! You’re burning daylight!” I met my brother in the hallway, and we took our time making it down the stairs, still waking up from last night’s sleep. As we made our way to the kitchen, I thought about what to have for breakfast: fried eggs, pancakes, an omelet, or maybe just some cereal. I started to get hungry. As usual, mom and dad were waiting in the kitchen. Mom was ready to cook whatever we could all agree on, and dad was sitting at the table watching the news. The conversation went as usual, “Good morning.” “How are you today?”
Then the phone rang and Dad answered it. It was hard to tell what the conversation was about, it did not last long and Dad didn’t say much. When he hung up he was quiet. Then Mom asked, “Who was that, honey?” Blunt and to the point he said, “Grandma,” (his mom) “Grandpa got sick last night.” Suddenly I was not hungry any more. “What’s that mean?” Mom asked, taking the words right out of my mouth. Dad did not really know. All Grandma said was that Grandpa got up in the night, went to the bathroom, and then yelled for help before collapsing. She called 911 and an ambulance came and got him. From the hospital in Spirit Lake he was life-flighted to Sioux Falls.
During the drive to Sioux Falls all I could think about were all the happy times spent at Grandma’s and Grandpa’s lake house on West Okoboji. I thought about how Grandpa would entertain all of his grandkids in the speed boat and then take us back to the house for a beer. All that was changing, there would probably be no more speed boating and no more beer.
When my family and I arrived at the hospital we ru...
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... a smile came across his face, a smile that for three weeks, I thought I was never going to see again. Unfortunately, his struggle with alcohol was just beginning. To this day he attends AA meetings and is doing great. The days of speed boating have continued, but there is no more beer drinking. For his grandkids, not much has really changed, except Grandpa’s health has improved. He has more energy and a better outlook on life. I think the experience helped him realize that his motto “Quality over Quantity” is not concrete and that there needs to be a balance between the two. We cannot get by on just the pleasures in life because it isn’t fair to our loved ones we have to compromise and make sacrifices in order to keep our health.
Quoteland.com. All the Right Words. 1997-2001. 30 Sept. 2003.