“Good morning, Trav. Isn’t it a gorgeous day?”
Trav moved to the chair beside the bed, trying to ignore the antiseptic smell and the plain room. Grams loved colours and sunshine, not this crap.
He kissed her papery cheek and sat on the chair, keeping his eyes on hers. Her body was shrinking, weakening. But her eyes remained hers. Strong, vibrant. But he could see the pain. The acceptance lurking in the shadows.
He swallowed hard and pulled out his phone. “Which playlist today, Grams?”
“It’s a Beatles kind of day, Trav.”
That made him smile. It was a Beatles kind of day at least four days a week. He hit shuffle, knowing that was the way she liked it best. Always a surprise around the corner, Trav.
Her eyes lit up when Imagine started to play.
Trav set the phone on the blanket and while they listened, he lifted the bag he’d brought her. Another surprise.
“You finished it?”
Grams didn’t even know what he’d been working on, but she was excited. She’d asked him to draw her something, didn’t care what. She’d encouraged his art from the day he picked up his first crayon.
Trav pulled out a sketchbook, light enough for her to hold, large enough for her to see.
The vibrant eyes clouded with tears, but the smile told him everything he needed.
“You drew for me.”
“Not just for you, Gram. Of you.” Because she’d been his person since day one.
He helped her flip to the first page as the playlist shifted to Here Comes the Sun.
Grams laughed. “Perfect timing.” She was a big believer in fate and karma and all that hippy stuff.
The first sketch was Grams dancing in the kitchen, his earliest memory of her.
Happy tears trickled down her cheeks as she brushed her fingers lightly over the page. “Well, she was a bit of a firecracker, wasn’t she?”
“Was? No was about it. You’re still the brightest firecracker in the sky.” Her dimples flashed, reminding him she’d once been young. “I bet you had men fighting for a dance with you.”
Her laughter filled the sterile room. And his heart.
She flipped through the pages in time with the music. He’d drawn his favourite memories.
Hotdogs over the campfire.
Picnics at the zoo.
Trips to galleries and museums.
Painting on easels together.
Graduation day. She’d nearly burst with pride over his valedictorian speech.
As she flipped to the final sketch, the playlist clicked to All You Need Is Love. He caught Grams' eye and they both smiled. Trav lifted her hand and kissed it.
“I guess they’re right. All I needed was you. Your love has got me through the very worst of times. You’ve been everything to me and I don’t know how to tell me how much you mean to me.”
Grams laughed and patted his cheek. “You’ve told me every day, Trav. Every day in all the best ways, just like this.” She patted the final sketch, one of the two of them hanging out in their favourite spot. Sitting on the porch swing looking out over the river.
“This is perfect, Trav. I’m so proud of you. This is the best gift ever. Well, until you get me a great-grandchild. I’ll be hanging around until then.”
They both knew that wasn’t true, but he grinned at her, going along with the running joke. “And you’ll be the best Grams to the kid ever.”
Which she would be, because his kids would always know they were loved. They’d always know unconditional love and support. Because Grams had taught him well.
Tagline: Lessons from the Beatles and Grams
The above is part of the WEP February Challenge All You Need Is Love.
The link is open until Feb 18 - I hope you'll join up. WEP is open to everyone and is a whole lot of fun. Follow the links for the rest of the stories in the challenge. I can't wait to see how everyone interprets this prompt!