My Grandpa Ed has ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). It’s an awful disease that robs you of every voluntary movement you can imagine—limb movement, speaking, swallowing, etc. Ironically, it rarely affects your brain. My Grandpa Ed is a citrus/avocado rancher in Southern California. He likes to tell us about how his Dad sold some of their ranch land to build Disneyland and how they planted the trees there too. Supposedly my Grandpa was offered a life time pass to Disneyland but he turned it down. That’s Grandpa—no fluffy entertainment for him. He was always too busy grafting trees and catching rattlesnakes on the ranch to worry about spending time with mouse ears. As a child I always remember him saying in his very deep voice, “I’m a mountain man!” Seeing as I live 500 miles away, there isn’t much I can do to help him in his ailing condition. But my amazing family and extended family have really pulled through since my Grandma’s death 3 weeks ago—staying nights with him, feeding him homemade pureed soups, driving him to doctor appointments, cleaning his home, you name it.
So my sister Patty and I decided to do the one thing we could do—show Grandpa we love him by making him a quilt. Despite Patty’s busy full-time work schedule (she lives near me), she made quite a few squares in just 2 days! Then together we layered the backing, batting, and quilt top. We stretched, we pinned and got it all ready for the quilting process. I finished it off with my hands and tears working overtime, and tomorrow the post office will take it away. I hope this mountain man knows how much he’s meant to all of us—even if he has ‘just’ been our step Grandpa. As an adoptive mom, trust me, I know that blood doesn’t make a family—relationships and love do.