Every Christmas grandpa Ben, or simply Ben, hosted a get together of his extended family. It was his way of showing and sharing love. A proud polygamist, all his three wives had passed on. Ben would spend the day being introduced to new members of his ‘clan’. He had so far achieved the rare title of great great great grandfather.
Last year his sight and memory had deteriorated to an extent that there was no more need of introducing the new members. He could neither see them nor cope with additional names in his memory.
A decision was made thus, he spends the Christmas narrating to us about his life.
The table was laid and the ‘clan’ was wading through the barbequed cow ribs, boiled tender loins and an array of sumptuous delicacies, when Ben rose. The cluttering sounds were cut by his deep baritone.
The charismatic voice drew the attention of all, apart from the little ones who kept on playing around the tables. Some of them received admonishments for their ‘nuisance.’
The expectation among us was that he was going to give an indication of how his Will looked like. So when he beckoned a woman who had sat beside him without drawing much attention, our ears flapped attentively.
“Look at her properly,” was his instruction.
“Rose…” his voice trailed. “Ben.” She finished taking the cue.
She was slightly more than five feet, endowed with a well rounded body with an unmistakable comely grandmotherly mien. She cast a tender glance across, looked at Ben and a five minute eternal embrace ensued. It was capped by a lip on lip kiss that betrayed what they probably hadn’t told us verbally.
It was hard to believe our eyes. Grandpa had decided to get married at over 97 years of age. The Christmas feast turned into a celebration of love. It was a great sight watching my grandpa getting married.
It was, however, a bit disappointing that it was happening at a time when his sight and memory was getting worse. There was the unspoken disapproval, until as if reading the minds of the rest of the clan, he bellowed, “don’t worry she has my memory and sight,” he said as he looked at her.
“In the meantime we are proceeding for our honeymoon,” he proudly informed.
So Grandpa left with his new bride after bidding us goodbye.
Murmurs were pronounced but no one seemed willing to ignite the issue beyond the bombshell Ben had threw our way.
It was, therefore, a surprise when at the beginning of this year, the two ‘love birds’ turned up on local television participating in a reality show featuring the elderly. Apparently Grandpa’s memory and sight had been alright all along. They had used the Christmas occasion to pretest the audience reception.
The show run for two months and anyone who thought old people are deficient of wit and life was in for a rude shock.
Members of the clan will always treasure the tradition Ben built. Christmas will always be our time to renew our love vows.
All characters are fictional