18 November 2008

Tuesdays with Morrie

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning, I have my own personal “Tuesdays with Morrie”. Here at work is a volunteer whom I believe has been here since God himself was a boy. He is 81 years-old and you would never guess it. I had known him for months before I learned his age and I was astonished.

On those mornings, I manage to get my sleepy & grouchy self out of bed a few minutes earlier than normal so that I can have a visit with Vern before beginning my day.

It is not as if our conversations are earth shattering or solving the world’s problems but it is intriguing to hear his perspective on everything from politics to sports to relationships.

As my grandfathers died when I was younger, I didn’t really experience being a granddaughter. I think that might be most what I enjoy about our visits.

He makes sure we have treats in the morning and he worries if we are late or ill. He also has that unavoidable father/grandfather thing. “Did you remember to..” “What happened with...”

I will never forget his grin when he told me…hinted, rather, that he had been married multiple times. And none of them were due to his wife passing, they were all divorces! And he lived in SIN! (He really laughed when I said that to him)

I asked him about what it was like when Kennedy was assassinated. You hear people refer to that time as solemnly as if their own parent had passed. He just shrugged. “We were busy raising five kids, we were aware of it but it wasn’t like the end of the world or anything.”

We talked about what it is like to have a black President and he smiles. “I didn’t think I would see it in my lifetime.” He is excited and hopeful.

He is Norwegian and sometimes I get to tease him about that. A few months ago, he had an episode with his heart. He called me later in the day and told me about it. When I asked him when he went to the hospital, he told me “After I went to the hardware store and then dropped something else off, I drove myself there.” Stubborn. Old. Norwegian.

(and I told him that. He laughed at me) but that is why he is 81 and still as active as ever.

He works at the regular pancake breakfasts at the Sons of Norway Hall. He makes sure we know when they are and has bought each of us a breakfast there. If anything could help define small town America, it is a breakfast fundraiser at the Sons of Norway Hall.

I believe that everyone should have their own personal Morrie. If not a grandparent then a friend or a teacher or coworker; just someone you meet along the way. I am so grateful for the time that I have spent with him, even if I do have to get up a little early to do it.

1 comment:

Dynamita said...

I think having Morrie sounds awesome!! My grandparents too died when I was young, and I've always wished I could have that experience. Thanks for sharing!