One of those lives were people shake their head. Not altogether wrong but seldom right. He’s made the odd mistake or ten but somehow staggered on through life. A bit of engineering, a bit of sales. Not what he wanted really but he got through. Decades have come and gone but here he is, not entirely fit but still breathing and looking at his grandchild’s little car. “The wheels all wobbly grandad” she exclaims, pointing at her toy. One of those you sit in and peddle round a room. “I’ll take a look” he says and so he does.
He may not have the strength ,but now has time, to spend with all the small things he let go ,when trying to earn a living and pay the bills. His son just like he did, works all day doing a job he doesn’t much enjoy: arriving back just when it’s time for bed. To the kid he can barely say hello or express any emotion worth a spit. The tiredness has drained all feeling from his bones. He loves her and he hopes that’s understood. At least his father is here to help with her.
For things that really matter we have no time, so busy do we get with fighting through to some safe haven, identity unknown, location changing with the passing years. “Beer son”, he says it every day, watching the steam seep from the boy’s tired frame. The drive alone is enough to make you mad, let alone the boredom of the job.
The things we love can be counted on one hand. The space and time to nurture them is rare, so hard are we pressed to battle up life’s hill. Both lost their wives some time ago: one through age and the other through ill-health so catering is a case of opening tins. The choice they have is just to carry on. To make the best of what they’ve got and pray that somehow they manage through the day.
The grandchild lives each moment as they do. Searching for attention as she must. Finding enjoyment in things they cannot see. Imagination is her greatest friend. She is the engine of their strength. The reason that they carry on . Grandad shuffling round the house and Dad at work, both push against the grain. They love her but seldom have the time to celebrate the fact or share a smile. But in her tiny frame rest all their dreams. That she might find a life unlike theirs. Go to college and sit behind a desk and holiday with friends and see the world. Make their struggles worthwhile in the end. This little body who carries on their name.