Grampa was the best medicine!

These are drawings my grandfather made in his eighties. He never called himself an artist but he always drew pictures like these in birthday and Christmas cards that he sent. I loved them so much my aunt had him produce a small collection for me before he died. So I will call him an artist. He was a very humorous man. A very happy man. A man who brought authentic joy into rooms wherever he went.  He was awarded employee of the year at the nursing home where he worked as a janitor into his eighties and was written up in the local paper for providing who he called "the old people" with the best medicine there was: laughter. I have no doubt that his smile and his joy helped people where he worked manage to survive another day, helped them to believe that life was good when maybe they couldn't feel it anywhere else. He wasn't conscious of this. He was just doing his thing: running around telling jokes, flirting with the widows, dancing with the mop... because that is who he was. He didn't know his drawings would bring me up out of blue moods. He never had any idea how many times I would pull them out, and still do, just to look at them and smile. He was just doing his thing.

Sometimes when I wonder where a piece of art I have created has come from, I hear his laugh and I realize that there are bits of him in each and every thing I make. When I hear people laugh at something funny I have created or wonder out loud "where the hell did she come up with THAT?" I know Grampa Percy is in the answer somewhere.

It's us in 1994!

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