The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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I met Susan at the Free Library in Center City.  Once she sat down with me, she knew she wanted to tell me a story about her grandfather who lived to be over one hundred years old.  She told me that her grandfather’s memory was impeccable and that he was definitely young at heart.  The fact that he still considered getting married at the age of one hundred was nothing surprising to her.  She mentioned how he was strong willed and never let his age limit him from doing anything.

My grandfather lived in the same house he was born in.  He had spent 100 years in that house and it never really changed much.  That being said, he never really changed much over the years either.  He was the same funny, lovely, romantic guy he always was.

He lived in Muscatine, Iowa—a calm city with 260 degrees of riverfront created by the major bend in the Mississippi River—in a farmhouse where crickets could be heard during all hours of the day and where mourning doves, with their slender, elegant tails and small heads could be seen perched on telephone wires or tree branches.

For my grandfather’s 100th birthday, we all gathered at Elks Lodge, in an expectedly cold afternoon in late January.  The entire family would always travel to Muscatine for his birthdays and celebrate it with a sizable party and we always had a good time.  After standing around and socializing for some time, my grandfather stood on the stage and recited a three-page poem.  Even at that age his memory was impeccable; he seemed to be radiating with life so much so that nobody could guess his real age.  I listened to my grandfather with a smile on my face and watched him walk off the stage and approach me after he was done.

He grabbed me lightly by my arm and pulled me aside and whispered:

“Susan, after lots of prayer and consideration, I don’t feel that God wants me to get married again.”

Wifeless

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January
Elks Lodge in Iowa

I met Susan at the Free Library in Center City. Once she sat down with me, she knew she wanted to tell me a story about her grandfather who lived to be over one hundred years old. She told me that her grandfather’s memory was impeccable and that he was definitely young at heart. The fact that he still considered getting married at the age of one hundred was nothing surprising to her. She mentioned how he was strong willed and never let his age limit him from doing anything.

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Recorded by Derya Yilmaz on May 2, 2014
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