I have written several columns about my trip to Hawaii. My mentions of my grand-nephew, Wesley, have been almost casual. Like I am taking his kindness and generosity for granted. I’m not. He is a loving, big-hearted young man. And I love him for it. I just don’t think I told him so.
Wesley’s mom, Vickie, volunteered to stay with me to help me care for my wife during the late stages of her illness. She took six months out of her life to do that. It was wonderful. Vickie’s son, Wesley, my brother Bill’s favorite, came by to see his “Uncle” when he visited with a friend in San Jose.
Almost casually, he said. “Uncle, I just bought a four-bedroom house in Ewa Beach, why don’t you come and stay with me a while?”
I said,” I may just do that.”
To tell the truth, I didn’t expect to take him up on his offer. And, I’m sure he was surprised when I did. I’ll give him credit, he accepted me with open arms.
If you are a 26-year-old Air Force staff sergeant with an 85-year-old house guest for three weeks, what do you do? Here’s what Wesley did: He accepted me and shared his life with me. He shared his home and he made big adjustments for me. More important though, he shared his friends. Took me with him and let me join in when he had them at home. Rob, Amy, JB and his girlfriend Bainbow. And others with whom Wesley works.
I had forgotten what it was like to be 26. Big appetites for food, friends and conversation. Great curiosity and an intense interest in technology. That’s natural, I suppose, since he works with computers.
I had purchased a laptop computer before I left for Hawaii. I wanted to be able to stay plugged in to my email network. And, I wanted to be able to Skype with my son in Houston. Wesley had a 42-inch TV that he converted to a monitor for my laptop. He used something called an H box, whatever that is.
On Black Friday, he bought a 70-inch TV that made my Internet experience even more interesting. Skypeing on a 70-inch screen is a real adventure. I joked with my son and told him how ugly he looked on a 70-inch monitor. His response, “You don’t look that good, either.”
It wasn’t just for my use. Wesley has an intellectual curiosity that opened new areas of interest for me. He regularly looked at a cable program called TED. Usually it explored studies in psychology that were of interest to this old psychologist – didn’t know that, did you? I have a master’s in psychology from Southern Methodist University.
Yes, despite the age difference, we still had mutual interests we could talk about. And we did. He also Skyped his mom so that I could share with her my experiences.
Finally, he took a week of leave so that he could show me parts of Hawaii that most tourists don’t see. How could I help but love him for that? A lot of those places had to do with food. Young appetite and old. And that will be the subject of the next column: food in Hawaii.
Murray Bass can be reached at 427-0744 or firstname.lastname@example.org.