White.It means purity,light.It's supposed to bring hope,tranquility.It's the color of the skies eyes shining in the cool night,the clouds lazily making there way across the vault of the sky.It's the color of wedding dresses,freshly fallen snow and of smiles.It's the color of happiness;the light at the end of the tunnel.It's also the color of hospital walls.Seems fitting.After all,don't you want the color of hope around while in a hospital?But there is something cold about the color white.Something cold and blank.
Try as you might to be optimistic,the clairvoyant sense of tragedy around the corner will always get to you.Not that I thought tragedy was heartlessly waiting in the future for the present to catch up.
No,I was just at my grandfathers bedside in room 7103 because his buildup of stomach fluid was worse.You see,a couple months ago he struck ill for the first time in all his 65 years.The cause of the build up was unknown and so he was released,only to return once again to the hospital for the time being.
I sit quietly on a hard,wooden stool,waiting for my aunt and Nan to return from fetching some food.And though the sun was bright,you could still see the crisp coldness in the January air,lurking outside the window.Altogether,there were 5 of us in the room.
1.A kind 65 year old local business man(Pop),
2.A Nova Scotian paramedic who suffered from a heart attack,
3. a rather interesting old man with a hacking cough from the Southern shore,
4. a completely bedridden 70 something year old man who had a stroke,and
5. a 12 year old girl lost in the thoughts of being somewhere happier.
And though there were 4 other people in the room,I felt alone.Other than the soft sounds of fifties sap music and the monotone of a nearby heart monitor,it was silent.I had to double check to make sure everyone was still breathing.Finally you could hear the clacking of my aunts shoes coming down the hall.And,like every other we made,we gave him love and aided in occupying his time.He'd make his jokes and put smiles on our faces as he made himself crack up and cry from laughter.
As the hour hand danced around the clock,as the days were crossed of the calendar,my pop seemed more and more like himself.There seemed to be hope that we could finally leave as a family.
But that hope didn't last,those jokes didn't last,those smiles didn't last.The happy,white walls seemed to mock us as my pops health plummeted,bringing the rest of him along with it.
He lost his appetite,his weight,his sense of humor and his energy.
"I'm tired,"seemed to be the thing he was saying nowadays."I'm so tired."
And then the time came.It came and went in a painful flash.
It started one day when my grandma(whom I live with) got a call from the docter.These past two weeks he seemed to be rising up in health,only to fall down the pit of illness without a rope.He was frail and oh so tired all the time.Aparently it was getting worse.We didn`t know it at the time,but he had Hemochromatosis,a rather common genetic blood disorder known better as ``iron overload``.He had it for years and it slowly destroyed his liver.
My nan,as well as my father and aunt went to the hospital,leaving me in the care of a family friend.Hours passed as my babysitter unfortunately failed to occupy my time.And then arrived a phone call.They wanted me to come down to the hospital.So we made the ten minute journey across our lovely city and I was dropped off at the main entrance.
My father is quite a respectable man-slighty ridiculous with his Family Guy style jokes and goofy smile-but all in all a respectable man.And never in my wildest dreams did I think I would see the day when he would cry.But that day was here.
We live on the beautiful(foggy,boggy,forest-y,rocky,damp,sometimes sunny) island of Newfoundland.My grandfather was a Townie(someone who lives in the capital city) and he had taken over his fathers business in mechanical comntracting.My dad works there,my aunt works there,I will probably work there.Our grandfather was the man of the house and the bossman of the business.But he was also a family man;generous,kind,happy-go-lucky.We were and still are a close knit family.
So,after spending almost everyday of his 44 years with the man I call Pop,my dad cried at the thought of losing his loving father and friend.He silently took my hand as we enterd the elevator together.The sight of his hazel eyes clouded with tears pierced me and sent a salty droplet down my freckled cheek.
``It`s really bad,```he said as we walked out the elevator.
I wiped away a tear as we quietly walked down the white hall.Room 7103,the last room down the hallway grew closer.How bad is really bad? I asked myself.
My Nan,aunt and nurse were already there.It seemed like Poppy was in another world,silent,eyes as blank as the walls.Moments passed.Then blood trickled out his nose.My father stole me away to the stairwell.He tried to explain to me that it was his liver that was causing all the problems.He desperately tried to convince me,and himself,that there was hope,and I desperately wanted to beleive him.
We headed back down the hall.My aunt burst out the door.She yelled something,something terrifying,I can`t remember what.The world seemed to be in another dimension.We sat at his side.I kissed him,told him I loved him.And then it happened.I heard my grandma wail and the earth seemed to shake as we sobbed,longing to wake up from this horrid nightmare.How could my grandfather hve died?How?Why?We stayed there forever,empty.
We woke up from the nightmare to find ourselves in another,at the funeral home.All those familiar faces looking lost,sad,soulless.I stroked my deceased pops hair.He would never approve of the hairspray they put on him.They had puffed his face up,dressed him in his finest suit and put makeup on his now cold,expressionless and white face.
The day we buried him we wore not white,but black.A sinester color.It`s the color of the bitter night,cold eyes,yucky liquorice and ravens wings.It`s the darkness that waits for the light that will never come.The color of death.And underneath the grey sky,we layed roses on his casket.Roses of white.Like those dreadful,dreadful walls.