Although he doesn’t know what a weblog is, I would like to immortalize him here in mine.
My beloved grandpa is Cleveland native Alex Jasin (wisely shortened from Jaczynski). He was born March 9, 1917. He survived the Great Depression and was a factory worker until he retired.
Never one to sit around – he gets more antsy than anyone I have ever seen – he has been a school crossing guard for the past – geez, I don’t even know how many years it has been.
He has not one, but two workshops – one in the garage and one in their basement. He invents cool stuff and does some woodworking – anything to keep busy. I compare him to a working breed of dog, perhaps a border collie, which is happiest when it has a job to do, whether it’s herding sheep or playing Frisbee.
Gramp and Gram celebrated their 60th anniversary in June. Then we almost lost him in November through a series of bizarre events starting with a leg artery angioplasty and a fall while gardening, and ending with congestive heart failure and two extended hospital stays. I believe that thanks to his level of activity, general good health, and stubbornness, he made it through a health crisis not many others his age would have survived.
While he was in the hospital in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, I would visit him and tell him he had to get out because “who will carve the turkey?” That is his job, and his alone. Regardless, we had to postpone our family Thanksgiving celebration this year, and my aunt has had a turkey sitting in her freezer since then.
So we are having Thanksgiving this Sunday in his honor. Thanks for Gramp Day. But this Turkey Day will involve a birthday cake instead of pumpkin pie.
Anyone who knows me well knows the iconic status my grandparents have in my life. They are a model of a successful marriage (even when they used to argue in Polish in front of my brother and me), and are truly good, well-adjusted, and happy people.
Never one to sit still, today on his birthday, Gramp will do his morning and afternoon school guard duty, probably log some time on the exercise bike, and watch the Price is Right and Judge Judy. Hopefully he will wear his favorite plaid shirt I bought him from Old Navy about four years ago.
Here’s to many more healthy and happy years, Gramp!