Wednesday, April 9, 2008


In the patchwork group of people that I call my family, Jim Joseph fills the role of a grandfather perfectly. He is unfailingly practical and not one to waste words. An extremely skilled mechanic, he made sure I didn’t drive my first car into the junk yard with my teenage irresponsibility. When he tried to retire from volunteering with Habitat for Humanity a few years ago at the age of like 72, they convinced him to stay on one more year because they couldn't manage without him.

Over the years, he and his wife Florence have taken in people whose own families are lacking and made them a part of theirs. They opened up their home to so many and showed them nothing but love and support, regardless of their lifestyle or background. They’ve lived in that same home for probably 50 years and their phone number was one of the first I committed to memory.

If there is anyone who embodies the proof of good humanity that I’m so desperately trying to find and emulate, it would be my Grandpa Joseph.

Yesterday, I found he has been battling prostate cancer for several months. He didn’t want to tell me because, as it was explained to me, I had “enough to worry about” with the job search.

I guess I get worked up pretty easily over comparatively silly things. Stupid shit republicans do, for example. And my boyfriend’s inability to remember what night to put the recycling out. And my 13 year old sister’s insistence on telling her boyfriend that she loves him when, in fact, she only like-likes him. I’m not sure where I’m going with this other than I guess I cry wolf a lot.

And then a real wolf comes along and I’m left speechless.

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Michael T said...

I'm sorry. I hope he's alright.

Here's to grandfatherly health!

Holly said...

I hope your Grandpa Joseph makes it out of the woods, he sounds like an amazing man.

I have the same problem when it comes to my sister! She's 16 and still in the "Oh my god, I love you" phase when she only like-likes the guy. I can't imagine using the word love, especially since when she gets a "boyfriend," it's only for a few weeks before she gets another one. *sigh*

Jenna said...

Twin I'm sorry we got off topic about this when I was there. I just want you to know that my grandpa also has it but he's done with the treatments and is doing alright. I hope, since we're twins, that Gpa Joseph's turns out the same way. I guess prostate cancer is very common--one in three men get it.