21 August 2011

My dear Opi had a little stroke. He was out for a walk, sat down on a bench, and didn't think that he could get up. My Omi thought it was just his back, which causes him a lot of pain. The difference is that these relatives waited until my parents were home so I heard from my mom. His doctor referred him for a bunch of tests and didn't find anything. I talked to him yesterday and he was very gentle. He talked about pickling my green tomatoes and sounded tired.

He is very tall. His mother was a seamstress and although none of his clothes are expensive he has an innate good taste with colours and textures that younger people just don't. When he was a boy during the war he never had shoes that were the right size. His mother got a warning to stop writing notes to excuse him from the Hitler Youth or they'd throw her in jail. He didn't like military activities. He liked hang gliding. He thinks all politicians are crooks and expounds on the impossible idiocy of politicians all of the time. Before my four year old cousin Nicholas was born he drank a lot of beer and looked, like my Uncle Robert said, as if he was waiting to die. He and Nicholas have a special relationship. Now his recliner is too low for him to get in and out of easily so he sits on two white plastic lawn chairs stacked up on top of each other to watch tv. I don't visit often enough.

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