Suddenly Grandpa yells from his room, “Jill, Bob, come here! It’s really important!”
“I don’t want to exercise tonight! Can I take the night off? I can’t write! I can’t think!”
“Just when you think it’s safe to go back in the water,” Robert says (insert Jaws theme music here).
“No!” says Robert in his typical no-mincing words rhetoric (the art of discourse to inform, persuade, or motivate particular audiences in specific situations).
Robert’s response is totally ignored by Grandpa.
Eric steps in to help because he’s getting ready for work in the washroom next to Grandpa’s room. He tries to sooth the savage beast and his fears before heading off to work.
“Don’t you think it’s kind of funny that you’re having this problem Grandpa when you are writing a new book about our struggles with the enemy?” he says.
Grandpa half listens, but he ain’t buying it.
Eric offers to pray with him.
Eric’s prayer falls on deaf ears.
After Eric leaves for work, Grandpa comes wheeling down the hall and plants himself firmly in the middle of the living room opposite my computer area and stares out the window.
He sits…and sits…and I try to ignore him as I work on designing a brochure for my friend Linda for her beauty salon.
I glance over my shoulder.
Out of the corner of my eye I see that Grandpa has turned around. I feel his beady little eyes staring me in the back.
I quickly turn around and ignore him… I ignore him some more… and some more.
What seems like and eternity passes and I begin to feel guilty.
Then the Lord says to me in a pretty loud voice, “That’s not compassion, Jill.”
Ugh! Ugh! Double ugh!!
I pray a quick prayer, “God give me the strength of Mother Theresa!” I don’t want to yell, I don’t want to react, I just want to handle this interruption with mercy and grace.
One daughter says, “Who’s Mother Theresa, some random nun?”
The other says matter-of-factly, “A gap in her education.”
I turn around and wheel my chair over to Grandpa. I listen as he expresses his fear of falling when he get’s off the exercise equipment. He’s usually pretty shaky, but Bob always holds onto him. He isn’t going anywhere with Bob there.
I try to comfort Grandpa and explain that he is really benefiting from his exercise. His legs are a lot stronger and he doesn’t huff or puff when he walks down the hallway. Still, I tell him, “Maybe you can take a break tonight, but you’ll have to exercise on Sunday to make up for it.”
“How many 92 year olds have to exercise?” he complains.
I hear Robert yell down the hallway, “Dead 92 year olds don’t have to exercise! By-the-way, he adds, he’s still exercising!”
Well, that’s the end of that. Grandpa and I are overruled by the head of the household.
I comfort him and say, “Grandpa, the benefit of exercise far outweighs the momentary discomfort.” Hey, isn’t that found on the Bible somewhere? I say to myself.
Yes, 2 Corinthians 4:17 says, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
Keep fighting the good fight, Grandpa. You won’t have to exercise in heaven. You can sit on a cloud and sip tea with Mother Theresa!