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Death of Grandpa Wohlfeld
(stomach cancer)

We moved to 425 Riverside Drive as money started coming in. During the three years we lived there, several things of lasting importance occurred. Grandpa was sure his health would never fail, and for years treated increasingly bad digestion with bicarbonate of soda. He became ill with stomach cancer.

I was ten and only knew I wanted him back home. A week or so after his surgery, I was taken to the hospital to see him. He was in a ward (only wealthy people had private rooms).

As he reached out a bony hand and held mine tightly, I remembered this once-robust man coming home on a Saturday evening after spending the afternoon at the wholesale produce market carrying a thirty-five pound sack of grapefruit in one hand and a sack of oranges in the other. I’d run out to greet him and he’d smile and let me "help" him carry part of the load to the apartment.

Now, his face was shrunken and I could hardly recognize his toothy smile. There were all sorts of tubes coming out from beneath his blankets and trailing to open pans on the floor beneath his bed. I held tightly to his hand, as tightly as he was holding mine. "I love you Grandpa," was all I could think to say. I stood there for I don’t know how long until my father came to lead me away.

Grandpa died a few days later.

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