My grandfather was a magical figure in my life.  He ran a hotel in Rochester MN and when they built their roof top swimming pool, he said he had it built for me, I was 7. BUT, he said because he knew I was a generous and kind person he told the hotel that I wouldn’t mind sharing the pool with the hotel guests. How could I say no, so I shared ‘my’ swimming pool. My youth was filled with many more fun and magical events such as this because of my grandfather.

In my late teens, after suffering a couple of strokes and aging in general, he began to experience dementia and confusion. The large and in-charge charismatic man I had experienced in my youth was now a human man that needed his family’s help. It was my first time experiencing this and it was scary.

There came a time when in home care and living on his own was no longer an option. My parents found the best nursing home they could and he was moved there. Shortly before his death, I went to visit him. I remember walking into the nursing home. I was in my early 20’s and visiting on my own. His room was dark and he was lying down, asleep. I stood quietly by his bedside, not exactly sure what to do. I touched his arm. Suddenly he opened his eyes and looked directly at me. ‘I’m not sure exactly who you are dear little girl, but I know you are special to me.’ That’s all he said before he fell back asleep. Those were the last words my grandfather said to me. From this I choose to keep with me the knowledge that love perseveres. Even in his confused mental state, my grandfather may not have known who I was, but he knew he loved me.

Live well and Love well,

Liv Fagerholm

Creation Associate at Maria’s Place