Here's a little tale from our beloved Austin, our very own Georgia Peach:)
It was June 24, 1922, in rural Georgia the day that Harold Forrest Ross was born. He was born in the bedroom of a two room sharecroppers house in the middle of a dry and dusty field. The temperature was 106 degrees.
On June 24, 2017, he turned 95-years-old.
Papa was born in a world where electricity hadn’t caught on yet. Yes, in the cities there were places where electric light was everywhere, but in a rural town in Georgia that consisted of a Stop Sign, a General Store, and 49 residents(yes, he was the 50th citizen), it was NOT a thing. Now, 95 years later, he has his own iPhone. He has seen the world change from record players to WIFI. He has seen almost all of the 20th Century and is now living in a 21st Century World. He is a pretty cool guy.
On June 28th this year he was out in his yard tending to the flowers that he grows. It was a hot, hot, hot, day and he passed out and fell face first into the rocks in the flower bed. He was alone. My mother happened to look over the fence that separates their properties to tease him when she saw him laying there.
In one of those super-human mother-daughter feats, she managed to call 911; my brother; and roll Papa over in a matter of seconds. Oh, yea, she jumped the fence too. When she rolled him over, although bloody and bruised, he was breathing. The paramedics arrived within minutes, and Papa was rushed to the hospital. He had a concussion and nine broken ribs. The doctors were sure he would develop pneumonia at his age and may not make it through the night.
I bought a plane ticket for the next day. We were hoping and praying, but being realistic, he was 95. Until the next morning. He was awake; he was sore, he was grumpy, he was normal. The doctors were all amazed but not as much as they would be later when, with an already bad hip that limited his movement and now nine broken ribs he just decided to walk. And walking he did. They had to ask him to stay in bed. He doesn't listen well. He is laughing and smiling and, yes, even dancing with the nurses. He is who he has always been. Papa. Just normal, regular, invincible Papa. The last time we thought it was the end for him was when Granny died. At that time they had been together for 56 years. He got through it. So, possibly, I’d even say probably, I will be writing another blog about how he got over something traumatic in 15 more years. You know when he has just turned 110. Really.
My brother asked Papa yesterday if he could have anything what would it be. Papa said a Frosty from Wendy’s. Today he got one and told everyone how his day couldn’t be any better now. It’s the small things. It’s the will to live. The will to just keep going.
Yep, that’s Papa for ya.