Why won’t grandma play with me?, I asked my grandmother. He is just tired, she answered. I snuck in the room he is always in, in the big, brown, broken down chair squinting at the tv.
Grandpa, always in the large room, the one with memories of 18 cousins watching Charlie Brown. The Illinois couch, the one I watch him on. He doesn’t have a flat screen, he as an ancient box tv. The tv, without cable, only the networks. The tv where the only channel I watch is the basketball one. The tv always playing the pixelated basketball while he sleeps.
He is a basketball player. He is a tough father, they say. But now he is in the big, brown chair, with my grandmother to his right. She is always there to get him water, to turn the fan on, to turn the tv up, and to protect him. My grandpa, always asking for things. My grandpa, tough as nail, never crying or complaining. My grandpa is a preacher. Always at his small, local church on Sundays. The church that wouldn’t have a life without him. Always up at 6, praying to see the Lord’s will. He raised his kids to be like him, a servant of the Lord. But the chair has stopped that. My grandpa is a worker, they say. Always in the factory with my father, working the line. My grandpa, fixing his house to stop the leaks. My grandpa who always sits on the big, brown chair watching the Big Ben. Grandpa, who has the Illinois gear, the poster of 2004. My grandpa, who celebrates with me when the pixels score on the network 3 of 20.
My grandpa, in the dark room, who raised my father to be a great father. My grandpa, trapped in the cell of his illness, always sitting in the brown Simmons chair, with the box tv on while he sleeps.