A SHORT, SHORT STORY
John was born almost ninety years ago and five years ago had suffered one of the inevitable tragedies of old age, the loss of his lifetime mate.
One of his great grand daughters had been living with him and Mother during this time but left a few months after mother's death, leaving her daughter behind.
Now he was beginning to understand that this little girl who he helped prepare for school in the morning, who of course was at the beginning of her life also served to provide him the means for measuring the length of his.
John's other great grand daughter who had always been more distant to him, had once told him that Jenny should be placed in an orphanage. So he knew that Beth would never take Jenny to live with her.
But Jenny, almost nine now, was unusually mature and helpful to him and around the house and she gave him good reason for rising in the morning.
John had always been interested in music and took great interest in supervising Jenny at piano practice. She seemed quite talented and he wondered how she could follow through with this interest and whether her little personality could survive, if she were to have to live in an orphanage when he was gone.
If he could only live long enough, so that Jenny could get out on her own. John's concern led him to contact an agency that recruited for providing pre-teens with permanent homes, but he left unsatisfied.
He had already provided for Jenny's higher education by putting money aside for that purpose. But his main worry was her next nine to ten years. He thought that Jenny should have two young parents. It was a question of his survival of course. And he was unable to come up with a solution to his length of life.
One afternoon Jenny returned from school with her school teacher, who explained to John that she was aware of Jenny's circumstance and that she and her husband wanted to adopt Jenny. And there it was, dropped in his lap.
Now all had been arranged for eventual adoption, so even now Jenny could come and go between the two households as she pleased, a comfortable and perhaps permanent transitional arrangement.
So later Jenny came to John, gave him a kiss on the cheek, pleased with her accomplishment and said, “Grandpa, I shall always love you and I shall be better able to take care of you now, than when there were just the two of us.”