More and more people are living past 100, hell 110 isn’t as impossible as we thought. I can’t remember if the official record is 120 or not. My grandfather living this long wasn’t impossible. He barely got sick, he didn’t eat very much (oddly, low food consumption has been tied to longevity according to the podcast Stuff You Should Know) and he was a tough son of a bitch too. Unfortunately, cancer took him out in his early Nineties; his passing killed the myth about being too old to contract cancer for me.
I do miss him. Like my maternal grandmother, I wish the age gap between us were smaller or I had access to a time machine. Communicating with him when he was younger, more coherent would’ve been great since I now have decent follow-up questions about living through the Roaring Twenties, pre-WWI America and what did people really think about the Federal government before Reagan demonized it.
I believe his pranks would be less vicious too.
I’ll close with a classic he pulled off when Brian and me were kids.
When we were still in the lower end of grade school, Grandpa often gave us candy at the start of his visits to our house. Being the oldest, he handed me an Almond Joy. I was like, “Sweet! Grandpa rocks!” (I don’t remember the exact Seventies slang I used to use). Grandpa then said, “For you Brian, I have some rare white peanuts.” I thought, whoa, this sounds interesting and oddly I was uncharacteristically not jealous (I was nine or 10 at the time). He handed Brian a little bag of styrofoam peanuts. Obviously my younger brother wasn’t amused and began crying. Grandpa began to chuckle. My curiosity turned to bewilderment. Mom had to quell Brian as Grandpa apologized. He had another candy bar so I didn’t have to share. I think Brian remained a bit stung. I’ll have to ask him in our next conversation if he remembers the prank.
Oh, I do wish he lived to meet my cats. Molly would’ve liked him, Miette, eventually.