.Last night, the family attended a Boxing Day Junkanoo, a colorful, musical street parade in the Bahamas. At 9:00 p.m., just as the floats approached where we stood against a white fence, and the horns and drums and flashing lights with them, my 87-year-old father-in-law suddenly didn’t look good. Didn’t feel good.
My husband ran to get the golf cart. I ducked through the crowd in the opposite direction, across the street, looking for someone selling water though I had no money. I returned just ahead of the first float.
But what struck me most about the evening took place once we are all back in the quiet of the house. Grandpa was fine and resting in bed. That day, he had walked two-miles on the beach, spent another hour sitting in the sun, shared in the wine at dinner, then joined us in the Junkanoo crowd. He just needed rest. But we remained concerned, a little on edge, adrenaline still high from what had looked like an emergency.
And in that moment of what-do-we-do-now, our sixteen-year-old shined. It might sound silly to notice it as an important moment to anyone who has not watched him grow up. But…
He walked over to the puzzle, its edges completed by the rest of us earlier in the day while he played Clash of the Clans on his phone. He has never enjoyed puzzles. Not sure he has ever worked on one. But he saw that, despite the late hour, Grandma wasn’t ready for bed.
“Well, Grandma,” he offered, “I think it’s time to do the puzzle.”
He did it so gracefully, so easily that no one but me noticed what he’d done. He is becoming such a sweet, good man.
She sat down opposite him, and they got to work, him chatting to her mostly, and celebrating each connection until she grew tired and said goodnight.