William Jacobs (WJ) and Seth Fleischauer (SF)
WJ: Right after the accident a nurse came into my room, and she said, Lieutenant, you have a visitor. And I said, Well, tell her to come in. And in comes Mrs. Gropper, which is the name I knew Claire’s mother by, and she said, I have to tell you some things. She said, I heard Claire on the telephone last night, saying how happy she was. And she’s talking about We’re going to have babies, and so on and so forth. I have to tell you something. Claire cannot have children. She cannot conceive. She had never made Claire aware of this and wanted to know if I was willing to marry her anyhow. And I said, Yes, Mrs. Gropper, I am ready to marry her anyhow. And she took a deep breath and said, Billy, then I want to ask you something else. Would you be willing to adopt children? And I said, Yes, Mrs. Gropper, I would be glad to adopt children, and I would do so. And she was very relieved, and she said, I only have one other question then, Billy. How are we going to tell Claire? And I said, Mrs. Gropper, I will tell her myself on our wedding night. And that’s what happened.
SF: Throughout my life, you’ve been a source of inspiration for me.
WJ: Well, thank you, Seth.
SF: But I think the biggest thing that you did was the dedication that I saw you give to Grandma in those last, like, seven or eight years that she had Alzheimers. That example of true love and true dedication, especially for someone like me, a child of divorce, who, you know, had never really been given an example of a very strong relationship. Thats the biggest thing you’ve brought to me.
WJ: I found that absolutely painless, taking care of her. So I guess I did have true love for her. Never for a minute did I ever think, God, when is this going to be over. I never, ever thought that. And I find that, since she’s died, and I’ve kind of been floundering and trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life, I find that this period to be much more unsatisfactory than all those years caring for her. And in retrospect, I didn’t find it that much of a burden at all.
SF: I think that’s what was so remarkable about it for me. Thank you very much for doing this, Grandpa
WJ: Well, it was very special for me, Seth. And just looking at you and answering you with your eyes looking into mine and mine into yours, it’s just great. It really is.
SF: I love you, Grandpa.
WJ: Thank you, Seth. I love you, too.