His arm rests on the bed beside a stack of Gideon Bibles. He carries at least one with him wherever he goes. Waiters, tellers, flight attendants have all been recipients. Today he offers them to his nurses. Some cry. Others glow.
They are caring for his body…he is caring for their souls.
This is my Grandpa Hollie, almost 89 years young.
Monday at supper (the night before his surgery) he bows his head and prays, “Lord, help us serve you better than we ever have before….”
The next day we wait and he’s wearing a hospital gown. My Mom jokes that we could play strip poker but he wouldn’t have much to lose. He grins mischieviously and declares, “But I’d have a lot to show!”
He comes out from the anesthetic talking about gravy and making the nurse giggle. He’s hungry and we’re happy.
Then an infection comes and snatches some of his strength. So we go to the ER until 2am Thanksgiving Eve and he goes to a hospital room for a few days.
I sit by his side and he tells me we need to write a letter to his neighborhood. He’s president of the Property Owners Association and it’s time to pay dues. He dictates, I type, then we pick out a page border of Christmas trees.
Over the next few days he occasionally protests his stay because he needs to get home and speak at the juvenile delinquent center again. Yes, really.
The last evening at the hospital I pick up one of those Gideon Bibles as I start to leave and ask if he’d like to read something together. He arbitrarily chooses Psalm 91.
With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation. Psalm 91:16
It’s the perfect Psalm for him, this man whose name I bear and legacy I carry. I get to call him “Poppi” but his life is a lesson of faith for all of us.
Poppi is out of the hospital now but scheduled to go back this week for one more surgery.
I’d appreciate your prayers for him and for the nurses…
They must need more Bibles.
* Update: I wrote this post last fall and I’m happy to report my Grandpa Hollie is doing great! I shared this on the first (in)couragement carnival. Who encourages you in your faith? We’d love for you to stop by!
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