Chapter 5: A Surprise

A few days had passed since Gramps had been admitted. He had broken his leg and that was the reason why he couldn’t stand. The incident had put a damper on my holiday mood. There were just three days left before my grandparents left. Gramps had spent most of his time in the hospital. Grandma tried to comfort me in her own way. She baked, cooked and even played Jenga and football with me. Somehow it was not the same. I missed Gramps.

I heard the door open and I watched as Dad helped Gramps in. He was on a wheelchair. There were definitely not going to be any walks in the near future. I flung myself at him and gave him a big hug.

“Careful dear! His leg isn’t fully healed yet!” said my Mom. I nodded and took a step back.

“It’s great to be back.” said Gramps. Even though I went to meet him everyday, I found him looking drained and tired.

“I’ve got hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies waiting for you.” said Grandma. She bent down and gave Gramps a kiss on the forehead.

“For me or for him?” asked Gramps nodding my way and laughing.

“For everyone!” replied Grandma laughing.

The weather was still playing truant. We could hear the wind outside and the rain splattered across the windows. My Dad lit a fire and we sat in the living room with hot chocolate. Grandma had outdone herself. The cookies were magnificent. Gramps called my Dad over.

“Could you get the thing I was talking about from my suitcase?” asked Gramps

“Are you sure about this Dad?” my father asked

“Very sure.” replied Gramps. My father just nodded and came back with a carefully wrapped package. He handed it over to Gramps.

“This is for you.” said Gramps. He handed over the package to me.

“What is it?” I asked curiously

“It’s the 49ers’ sweater.” said Gramps with a smile.

“The one that belonged to Joe Perry?” I asked. My jaw dropped down in astonishment.

“Yes. I think that you deserve it. You were very brave that day. If it wasn’t for you who knows what would have happened. I want you to have it as a token of my appreciation.” said Gramps with a smile.

“Thank you.” I said

“You are welcome child. I was going to save it for you till you got a little bigger but you showed me just how responsible you are. Remember to take good care of it. It was given to me by my grandfather just as I have given it to you.” said Gramps

“I will. I will take care of it! Thank you Gramps!” I said excitedly

“Aren’t you going to open it?” asked my Dad smiling.

“Yes! Yes I am!” I replied. I gently pulled on the strings that held the parcel together. Opening the parcel I glanced at the sweater with reverence. It was an amazing gift. One I felt that I didn’t deserve. I guess that’s the reason why they say that only grandparents have the right to pamper their grandchildren. I made a vow to keep it extremely carefully. Picking the sweater up, I proudly paraded around the room so that everyone could see my new gift. It did not turn out to be such a bad vacation after all. In fact, my grandparents decided to stay on a little longer. They waited two whole months for Gramps’ leg to heal. I was definitely happy about that development. Though my grandparent’s vacation started out at a rather rocky start, the rest of the vacation went along smoothly. I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did!

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Chapter 4: A Sensational Rescue

It didn’t take long for me to explain what had happened. The officer was extremely nice but when he heard my story he sprang into action. Grabbing his phone he made a few calls. I heard him rasping out instructions to someone. He later told me that he had made a call for an ambulance and some back up.

With help on the way, the officer asked me if I would be able to lead the way. I nodded. I knew the way. My grandfather and I had used the path many times over. That was the reason why I did not get lost. I caught the officer’s hand. He had a very strong grip compared to my grandfather.

The rain did not let up. We made our way through the forest. The path was full of water. It was flowing like a small stream. I was worried. I did not know how Gramps would fare. He would be hip deep in water if he was still sitting where I left him. I voiced out my fears and the officer looked as worried as I felt. He doubled the pace at which he was walking. I started gasping as I struggled to keep up. I wasn’t about to complain. My grandfather was more important to me than anything else in the world.

The officer gave a shout when he spotted my grandfather. I ran up to him and called out to him but he did not respond.

“What’s wrong with him?” I asked worried

“I think he is just sleeping.” replied the officer. He touched Gramps neck and looked worried. That’s when his phone rang. Picking up the call he barked off some more orders. A few minutes passed by. The officer removed his jacket and covered Gramps with it. By then I was really scared. Tears rolled down my face. I pretended that it was just the rain. A number of medics came rushing down the path. They had a makeshift stretcher with them. They hoisted Gramps onto it and took him away quickly.

“Where are they taking Gramps?” I asked

“They are just taking him to the hospital.” said the officer reassuringly

“But I want to go with him.” I said upset

“Yes! I will take you there. Let them do their job! Your Gramps will be fine.” the officer replied.

We made our way back down the path. The officer took me home first. He insisted that I get a warm bath and a change of clothes before I went to the hospital. In the meanwhile he updated my parents and grandmother about what had happened. Though I initially didn’t want to have a bath, the hot water felt soothing against my skin. I changed quickly and rushed down. Grandma had prepared hot chocolate for the officer and me. It felt good.

My parents had already rushed to the hospital. It took a lot of convincing but at last I agreed to stay behind. My grandmother needed someone to look after her. I saw the logic in that. I stayed back to ensure that she was safe.

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Chapter 3: A Storm And An Accident

A crack of thunder ripped through the air. Without warning the heavens exploded and rain began to pelt down on our heads. The forest sure looks dark and creepy in a storm. Gramps opened his umbrella and I struggled with mine. For some reason I hadn’t managed to master the art of opening it. Gramps helped me but not before we were both drenched to the skin.

I caught hold of Gramps’ hand and urged him to follow me quickly. The path was turning slushier by the minute and a small channel of water had begun to flow in the middle. I hated being out during thunderstorms. The wind blew in gusts and chilled us to the bone. Gramps held my hand tightly. It was becoming more and more difficult to see. Then suddenly I felt a jerk and a shout. The sight that I saw chilled me to the bone. Gramps had stumbled on a loose rock and fallen.

“Are you okay Gramps?” I asked worried

“I am.” said Gramps. I couldn’t see his face but I heard the pain in his voice. I gave Gramps my hand but I was two weak to help him up. We tried but every time Gramps put weight on his left leg it crumbled under him.

Lightening lit up the sky. It was getting scary in the woods. I helped Gramps crawl to a big rock nearby. After a lot of tugging and pulling, Gramps managed to settle himself near it.

“What are we going to do?” asked Gramps voicing my thoughts aloud.

“I’ll go and get help!” I said bravely. I was however not feeling brave at all. The thunder and the lightening spooked me. We were a long way from home.

“You are too small to go alone.” said Gramps

“I will be fine.” I replied reassuringly. I kept Gramps’ umbrella by his side and wedged it between the stones. That way he did not have to hold it. After giving him a hug, I started off on the path.

This time the path wasn’t as bad as it seemed before. Though I hated it, the lightening turned out to be a great advantage. It lit up the path and made it easier to find my way. It took me a while but I made my way to the main road. The rain was pouring down and the wind was strong. It was strong enough to knock me off my feet every once in a while.

A number of cars passed without stopping. That was till I saw a police car passing by. I closed my umbrella and shook it to get the officers attention. Luckily he noticed me. I wouldn’t blame him if he hadn’t. The rain was coming down as thick as a curtain and visibility was poor. I was really happy to see the officer. It meant that I did not have to walk all the way home. My thoughts kept drifting back to my grandfather who was alone and hurt in the forest. The arrival of a grownup usually meant that everything was going to be alright.

*Dr. Karpac, my orthodontist, has been so awesome with the encouragement and support he’s offered. Thanks Dr. K!

Chapter 2: A Walk And A Revelation

The next day was dull. We spent most our day indoors. Jenga was the game of the day and it was a lot of fun to play it with Gramps. Grandma made sure that we had the energy we needed. With her in the kitchen, nourishment in the form of food made it’s way into our stomachs.

“Gramps… Can I ask you a question?” I asked

“Sure Matt! What’s on your mind?” replied Gramps

“I was wondering….” I said trailing off as I watched Grandma bring out a set of hot chocolate cookies.

“Yes?” asked Gramps

“Well Grandma cooks so well and so much… How come you are not fat?” I asked

Gramps erupted in laughter. His chuckles could be heard bouncing off the walls of the house. He laughed so much that everyone came running to see what happened. Wiping tears from his eyes, my grandfather repeated what I had asked him. I couldn’t understand what he found so funny. It was innocent question after all. Mom and Dad joined the laughter.

“Thanks for the compliment!” said Grandma as she bent down to kiss me. I was baffled. What had I said that was so funny? It was only later that Gramps explained to me. Grandma was a strict dietitian. She kept track of everyone’s diet. Everything changed when we kids were around. Otherwise poor Gramps was stuck eating salads and fruits! That didn’t sound like fun at all!

After putting away our Jenga, Gramps suggested going out for a stroll. My mom warned us to take umbrellas. Nodding my grandfather picked out his long stout umbrella from the night stand. I had my smaller one with me. It was given to me as a gift from my uncle.

The roads were slushy from the rain. Catching hold of Gramps’ hand, we strolled down the streets. My house was a long way off from the city. In fact it was close to a thick forested area. A road ran through the forest. It was one of those big highways. It connected the city with other cities. Gramps loved to take a path just off the highway. It wound it’s way into the forest and was a very pleasant walk. Gramps loved the peace and quiet that engulfed him as he strolled along.

This time however he had a talkative grandson at his side. Somehow I don’t think he minded. I filled him on what I had learned about football and how my Dad allowed me to watch the football games with him. He gamely joined in on the conversation. I never knew that Gramps was such a big fan of football till that date. He even told me that he had a 49ers jersey. It had been given to him as a gift from his grandfather. The jersey belonged to the legendary Joe Perry. I was so excited when I heard it. I asked him whether he had brought it with him and he said yes. My Dad had told him that I had become a fan of the 49ers and he had decided to bring it along just to show it to me.

I couldn’t wait to get home. I wanted to see the sweater so badly! Imagine… The very same sweater that Joe Perry wore!



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Chapter 1: The Grandparents Visit

The sky may have looked gloomy all day but I was excited. So excited that I could not sleep. I’m Matt by the way. I’m ten years old and I live with my parents in a really cozy house.

I could hear the wind howling outside. The temperature had really dropped. My dad said that the weather forecast had predicted rain. I hoped that they were wrong. My grandparents were on their way. They were due to arrive the next morning. That was enough to get me excited. Better still… I did not have to share them with any of my cousins. They were going to be with me for two whole weeks. I couldn’t wait.

I really can’t remember how I fell of to sleep. I can however tell you how I got up. Sunlight filtered in through my window and fell on my face. Blinking, I tried to recollect my thoughts. That’s when the smell of freshly made pancakes tickled my nose. Grandma’s special pancakes! That got me up and out of bed. Without even bothering to run a comb through my hair, I bounded down the stairs and flung myself into my grandmother’s waiting arms. I heard a chuckle behind me.

“Don’t I get a hug?” asked a familiar voice. I wasted no time in throwing my arms round my grandfather’s neck. He was sitting in the easy chair and that placed him at the perfect height for my assualt.

“I missed you!” said Grandma. She walked over and ruffled my hair.

“I missed you too!” I replied.

“Why don’t you go and brush your teeth? We can have breakfast together then.” said Gramps as he set me down on the floor. I really didn’t want to leave them for even a minute but the pancakes looked delicious. I knew I wasn’t going to get a bite unless I washed up. I dashed back upstairs and shouted a quick ‘Good morning’ to my parents as I bolted past them on the stairs. It wasn’t long before I was seated at the table with a huge helping of pancakes on my platter.

“Mother! He will fall sick that way!” said my mother as my grandmother drenched my pancakes in a generous helping of maple syrup.

“You don’t worry about that. It’s a grandmother’s privilege to spoil her grandchildren rotten!” said Grandma smiling. Who was I to complain. I gorged myself on the pancakes. Oh… My cousins were going to be so jealous when I told them! We loved our grandparents and the only thing we ever fought about was for their time.
My Mom didn’t say anything after that. I saw my Dad nudging her and telling her to let it be. Dad turned around and winked at me. It was really cool. With breakfast done, I dragged Gramps upstairs. I wanted to show him my room. I had discovered a new passion. Football! It had all started after I watched a game in which the 49ers were playing in. My Dad was watching Television and I joined him. That’s when the fascination started. After that day I never let my Dad rest. Poor guy! Every holiday was spent teaching me football. I think that he kind of enjoys it!

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