Grandpa and Me
Stephanie S. Tolan
(Encore Editions, Oct. 1, 1983)
“My grandfather is crazy.” So eleven year old Kerry Warren begins her story of the summer in which her family confronts the realities of aging. Grandpa has been part of their family for almost as long as she can remember. He taught Kerry to swim and made kites for her brother Matt, and the three of them collected rocks. Kerry can’t remember now when things started to change, when her life and Matt’s began to close out Grandpa. Suddenly there wasn’t time for him: she had places to go after school with her friend Jeannie, and Matt was busy with baseball practice and his stereo. And now Grandpa is different. He says strange things and sometimes thinks Kerry is the sister who took care of him as a child. There is worried talk in the family about nursing homes and the uncertainty of the future. As Kerry and her family live through the tensions of the summer, she finds that Grandpa has taken over the central position in her life from which he had been banished. She learns to know and love him in a new way. And as Grandpa’s past becomes for him the present, Kerry acquires a new understanding of her own place in the family.Her grandfather's increasing senility brings Kerry to a new understanding of both him and her own place in the family.