It’s been a week of clarity and confusion involving names; my name, and Kevin’s name, to be exact. (See what I mean?) Sooner or later it was bound to happen, when Kevin and Kevin got jumbled up. Let me explain.
Kevin, (one grandchild of five, mind you) has always called me Grampy, and more recently he’s started to call me Grampa, which is fine, too. But it’s always been a source of amusement and wonder when family and friends call me by my first name and Kevin the younger would race in and answer first with, “What?” or “Yeah?” Before I have even uttered a word. Well this week Kevin put it all together as we were leaving the playground. I was buckling him into his car seat when Kevin looked at me and said, “There are two Kevin’s in the car right now. You and me!” Even though I’ve known that he made the connection awhile ago, this was the first time he said so to me. As a grandfather looking at a little robust life bouncing before my eyes, it was a moment, a new page between Kevin and Kevin. As I drove away I was also reminded of the power and place of time itself, where we have been and what the future might hold
Because as some of my readers know, just a week earlier Kevin the younger was discharged from Boston Children’s Hospital after developing a bone infection (Osteomyelitis) in his hip. It was one of those random out of the blue, and serious, medical situations that can happen with children at anytime. Two weeks ago Kevin developed a limp and since he’s been making it a point to leap from every elevated perch he could find, everyone thought it was a sprain of some sort and would go away. When it didn’t, Kevin went from the docs to X-Rays to MIR’s then straight to the hospital for five days of IV antibiotics. The good news is that he’s home now on oral meds for several weeks (and follow-up tests for 12 more weeks) and is back to running with occasional leaps through the air. (See pic of Kevin at Children’s Hospital taken by mom, Jen)
Now being a grandparent means you get to return these little packages to
their rightful owners. And Kevin went home following lunch as usual. That evening I received a phone call from a young Quaker who said that he had heard that I was in the hospital and he wanted to know if I was feeling better and would be alright. Before I could explain which Kevin had been hospitalized, the thoughtful and caring teen went on to tell me that he had just returned from a gathering of Quakers in Maine and that some of the kids were making cards for me! I cleared up the confusion as best I could, telling my young friend that Kevin the younger had been hospitalized but was now home and doing fine, and Kevin the grampa is scheduled for day surgery soon but had every reason to believe that I too, would be fine.
The next day another phone call came in, and then three or four emails followed by a Face Book message, all hoping that I was recovering, etc. The day before I sent out a batch of emails to retreat staffers, and it seems that one of two of them figured, well, he’s writing at least, so he must be on the mend. So here friends, is the scoop:
Yours truly, Kevin the grampa, recently completed my annual skin checkup with Dr. McGinnis, my local dermatologist. I recently switched from a semi-retired skin doc that I felt was not looking this nearly 59-year-old body over close enough during appointments with him. So I switched to a new derm with younger eyes and I’m glad that I did. Dr. McGinnis checked EVERY square inch of my hide and she found three moles that she didn’t like the looks of. When the tests came back, I had early stages of melanoma on two of them, a potentially fatal condition if left untreated. She shipped me to the melanoma clinic at Boston’s Mass General Hospital for closer scrutiny and surgery. On May first, I will have both moles in questioned surgically removed using local anesthesia. I’ll miss a few days of rowing, but I’m also feeling exceedingly grateful for the keen eye and professional expertise of Dr. McGinnis and having the good fortune of having medical care available to me overall.
So if the cards ever arrive I’ll wait and open them on May second. And someday, Kevin the younger will, I’m sure, have to explain to his friends, “No, they weren’t calling me. They were calling my Grampa, now let’s get out of here!”
Kevin Lee (Your comments below are appreciated)