08-10-2009 05:13 AM
This is another one of my writings. I don't really know what you would consider this, but I guess it's just more of a sensory writing. It's written about the last time I saw my Grandpa before he passed. Please read and let me know what you all think. Thank you!
It was a day like any other in Peoria, Arizona, when I stepped out of the passenger’s side of my father’s glistening sand colored hummer, on to the smoldering cement of my Grandparents driveway. The sun was blistering and I could feel the cool sweat begin to run down the burning sides of my face, warming ever so slightly with each inch it fell. This was not a day of joy, no sense of rejoice, or elation for this visit. I had just flown for just over an hour to make the trip from San Diego to Phoenix, where my family was gathering at my Grandparents house.
I sauntered somberly to the stairs leading to the front door of the house. All was quiet, no sounds of excitement, no happy chatter, just silence, faintly masked with slight whispers from within. As I began my climb up the steps, my stomach sank like a boulder being dropped to the bottom of a vast lake. I knew what awaited me inside. I attempted to prepare myself for what I was about to face, yet no preparation could prepare me for what was in store.
I grabbed the golden handle of the front door, hesitating for only a moment before slowly shoving it open. The kitchen was the first room you enter as you make your way through the house. A kitchen that always smelled of sweet cinnamon, but on this day, as I glided my way through the kitchen and to the hallway, the aroma was bitter, no sweet relief to be had. Standing in front of me was my father’s side of the family, faces stricken with fear, sadness, and warning. Everyone was gathered outside of the guest bedroom, quietly awaiting the forewarning my father was about to give. I looked at him eagerly, I wanted to shove past them all to reach the guest room, where the reason we had all gathered was. But this was important, and I knew I needed to heed this warning. He gazed down at me with eyes full of sorrow and regret. He began, “Trina, I want you to understand how far gone Grandpa is. You need to grasp that Grandpa is not as you remember. He may not even remember who you are. He doesn’t remember any of us, or even who he really is. He’s dying and this time he won’t be fighting back, which is why I wanted you here, before it was too late. He won’t accept another transplant, so this may very well be the end. Just go in there and let him know that you care and you are here. He loves you.” I stood there with shock and realization waving over my body. This was much worse than I expected.
I looked up to see the eyes of those around me welling with tears, and I tried not to break with them. I had to be strong; I had to do what was right for my Grandpa. I took a deep breath, a faint hint of cinnamon and death filled my nose. I made my way past the others, to the room where my Grandpa lay.
As I raised my head, I caught a glimpse of his frail and lifeless body, engulfing the tiny twin sized bed to which he was confined. The room was the same as I had always remembered, but all life had been drained from it. The walls were white, lined with shelves of Green Bay Packers paraphernalia. They were my grandpa’s favorite team. Covering my Grandpa, as it had always done the bed, for many years prior, was a soft, plush green blanket, with a Green Bay Packers logo, right in the middle. As I slid my feet one by one across the rough sandy colored carpet, my eyes met his, and there were no words to explain the feeling that came over me. As I tried to keep a firm grasp on reality, my mind wanted to escape to the memories of a better time, where we were all full of life. But I was here to say goodbye, and tell him how much I cared. As I leaned forward to embrace him, his hand slowly reached for me. I froze. Everyone was now gathered in the room, every face looking as astonished as my own. His hand met mine, and without so much as a stutter, he uttered my name. “Trina,” he spoke softly, the sides of his lips just slightly pulling into a grin. I broke.
I could feel the cold, wet tears beginning to stream down my face as I realized the magnitude of what had just taken place. He had not recognized anyone else in that room, barely even himself, and then there I was, and despite the odds, he knew exactly who I was. Out of all that were gathered that day, it was me he knew. It was me he remembered. I closed the gap between us ever so gently, but swiftly as I cradled him in my arms. His cool and clammy skin meeting mine, yet I felt the warmth. No matter what else happened that day, it would all be ok. And finally, in that moment, I felt peace. It was as if a curtain had been lifted and he wanted me to know that it would be alright, that he loved me, and that he was at peace. I had come for him, and in the end, it was him that was there for me.
08-10-2009 09:17 AM
Tori, I don't know what else to say, other than this was absolutely beautiful. The emotion was gutwrenching.
The way you touched lightly on the various items in the room was very well done; from the Green Bay Packers Paraphernalia to the rough sandy colored carpet. This made it easy for me to picture the heartbreak that comes with longing for times and experiences that suddenly are memories, never to be experienced again.
Your feelings were beautifully expressed, and very real. The last line is fantastic!!