It took twelve hours by car to get from Louisiana to Texas. (Where my father grew up). We stop to visit the pencil shavings of his childhood. We stayed with our uncle in a wealthy, planned community of old people called Pecan Plantation. “But no one is around to pick the pecans no more,” we are told. My mom said, “This will probably be the last chance these boys will get to see their granddaddy.” And my aunt told her, “Life is like a roll of toilet paper—the more you go through it, the faster it seems to go.” Then we all jumped as the backyard motion sensor lights came on, and a dear walked into the yard. We calmed down with a shared laugh. My brother asked, “How’d it get over the walls?” and my uncle said, “oh, they always seem to find a way.” The next morning, we went to the facility. We sat with grandaddy over his hospital tray of lumpy scrambled eggs and cubed carrots. The nurse came by and put a hand on his shoulder. She said, “Howdy handsome! Well, look here at these handsome boys, these your grandkids, bet they are?” Grandaddy tried to nod as he brought a shaky forkful of eggs to his mouth before it dropped into his lap.
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