My grandfather turned 93 today. He was 11 when Germany invaded Poland, 35 when President Kennedy was assassinated, and 53 when I was born.
I visited him the day after Christmas. It was his first Christmas alone. None of his four sons visited.
Other than one of my cousins, my whole family are liberal Democrats. All of them are scared of the Chinese coronavirus and all of them seemed to be fine with obeying the government’s orders not to see one another. My family is far-flung–we all live in different states–so we don’t see each other often to begin with.
I only visited my father for Christmas because I insisted. It wasn’t until I got there that I resolved to swing by my grandfather on the way home and pay him a visit as well.
When I first announced my visit, Dad raised all the standard corona cultist concerns. He demanded I get tested before coming and wear a mask at gas stations in transit.
I did neither. I would never put on the burqa. I considered getting a test and handing him the bill, but I discovered the day before my departure that the test results take 4 days to come in. A “rapid response” test delivers the results immediately, but costs nearly $200.
I asked Dad what he wanted me to do. I had no idea how he would reply. I fully expected him to say, “you know what, forget it; let’s just be safe and you can call me on Christmas.”
But he said the opposite. “Screw it; we’ll take a chance.”
And so I had a wonderful visit with my father, with plenty of conversations about how awful the lockdowns were.
Democrat politicians can preen all they want about how lockdowns are necessary, but everyone, including their voters, is fed up with them and won’t suffer them much longer.
Then I went to visit my Grandpop. His situation was quite worse than Dad’s. He never learned computers, the Internet, and smartphones before it was too late. Being almost always alone at home for eight months had taken a bad toll.
I will cherish that visit for the rest of my life. Grandpop’s short-term memory was poor, but he recalled his young life like it was yesterday. He couldn’t remember what movie it was we watched 20 minutes ago (it was Casablanca), but when I mentioned that my favorite classic was Arsenic and Old Lace, he remembered it vividly.
“That film, which was also a play, they had to censor the line that was the climax. In the play, the main character, who in the movie was played by Cary Grant, shouts out with pride, ‘I’m the son of a bastard!’ In those days, though, you weren’t allowed to say ‘bastard.’ That’s why in the movie he has to say, ‘I’m the son of a sea cook!’ “
I bonded with him more that night than ever before.
The next morning, we went out for breakfast before I headed home. Unlike Michigan’s cruel governess, Pennsylvania still allowed its citizens to meet and eat. We had dined the same restaurant after the family reunion three years ago; their thick-cut iron-flat bacon was unforgettable.
It was the most meaningful Christmas I’ve ever had, and I know it meant as much to my father and grandfather.
Dad had told me the reason he hasn’t visited his father was because of Grandpop’s own urging that he should be safe. Maybe it hadn’t occurred to him that it was a request motivated by politeness and political correctness, not genuine desire.
But for Grandpop’s birthday, Dad came to visit him. And I know he saw what I saw: a man who needs his family.
The lesson here is that the bonds of family are stronger than the lies of government, and sooner or later people will realize how essential human contact is and how damaging social isolation has been.
The longer the left pushes lockdowns, the sooner its base will crumble. Tyrannical New York governor Andrew Cuomo has realized this. Michigan’s imbecile governor hasn’t figured it out yet, but she soon will.