Time is the Best Gift of All

Time is the best gift of all. When I was 21, my 16-year old brother and I were on our way to the gym when we decided to visit our deaf  grandparents. I asked them if they would like to go and exercise too.


Walter & Julia Cleaver in the 1970s.

They had no workout clothes so when Granddaddy came out in Grandma’s baby blue shorts, sleeveless undershirt, black socks and black street shoes, my brother did not want to take them. When we arrived at the club, the walk from the parking lot was the longest walk ever for my humiliated brother.

Entering the gym, we had to fill out guest forms for them. Putting their birth dates of 1896 and 1902  raised eye-brows. We wanted to take our grandparents to the exercise room on our own, but the club insisted a trainer take them for their first visit. When the big, muscular trainer came in, he was shocked at the age of his clients – ages 77 and 71.

Grandma’s trainer soon had her doing sit-ups and leg lifts, riding a stationary bike, and relaxing in the sauna. We finally made it to the pool.

As Grandma and I waited for Granddaddy and my brother, I felt badly about making my brother chaperone Granddaddy so I asked the trainer to bring grandfather to the pool. When granddaddy came out, he jumped in the air and clicked his heels. He had a crowd of awe-struck men around him.

My brother told how Grandaddy out-lifted, out-exercised and out-did everyone in the gym. They were amazed at his strength, which Granddaddy attributed to his hard-working farm life.

My brother could not be prouder and made sure everyone knew that was his Granddaddy.

My grandparents spoke of that day often for the next 20 years.

The time we spent with them was worth more than any gift we could have given. Now 40 years later, that gift of time spent with Grandma and Granddaddy is timeless to my brother and me.

Time is free, but it is priceless!



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