The Gift of Time

Michael - Iowa City, Iowa
Entered on April 24, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in doing things even when you don’t want to. About a year and a half ago Patti McTaggart, a church coordinator, approached me after mass and asked me if I would be willing to take communion to a homebound member of our church. At first I was very hesitant to accept her offer until she told me the homebound member was my grandpa. At that point I knew I couldn’t say no.

At first I had no problem with getting the Eucharist for my grandpa. Every night after 5:10 church my family and I would go visit him. Right when we got there I would take out my pyx and give him the Eucharist. Then we would talk for about an hour or so about the most random things ranging from baseball to the weather. Eventually after several weeks of doing this my family decided to stop coming with me after church. They would drop me off and they would go out to eat somewhere or sometimes they would just go home. One time they even made me go to church by myself. This is when I became upset about having to bring the Eucharist to my grandpa. One day I finally spoke up and said to them, “Why should I have to go to church and grandma and grandpas by myself? Why can’t you come too?” And my mom would reply, “Someday you’ll be glad that you did this.” I remember her saying those words and I thought to myself, how do you know that?

Of course my mom ended up being right. My grandpa’s health started deteriorating very rapidly. I knew my visits would soon be ending. I remember my dad waking me up one Saturday morning around nine o’clock and telling me to get dressed. I asked him why and he said that my grandpa had fallen out of bed and my grandma couldn’t lift him back up. We went over there and quickly lifted him up and took him over to his chair. We visited for a while and wished my grandpa and grandma a happy 59th anniversary. On our way out I said, “I’ll see you after church.” And then we went home. About an hour or so later he died. This is when I finally realized the importance of what I had been doing. Getting to know my grandpa and grandma so much better, seeing the joy on his face when I brought him the Eucharist, and knowing his appreciation made the experience, in the end, all worth while.