Sitting Lakeside

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
This was an story written in my English class last year about my grandfather and his battle through cancer

Submitted: October 12, 2009

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Submitted: October 12, 2009

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Seventh Heaven

It’s always hard to say goodbye to someone. Sometimes you come back and see that person again at another time. Others, that goodbye is forever.

Last weekend was going well. I woke up Sunday morning early, excited to go down to Long Island to set up for our party. But a phone call changed everything. I was lying in the guest room, eating a green bagel (for St. Patrick’s Day), anxiously waiting for my mom to finish drying her hair. Whenever I want to go out with my family, I have to add fifteen minutes especially when my mom just showered.

Then I heard a commotion outside my room. I put the TV on mute and opened the door, ready to yell at my brothers to find a new wrestling hallway. But there was no sight of the commotion. I walked out of the room, searching for the commotion when I was taken out by my mother, carrying a duffel bag the size of a city bus. She flew right by me; I was still in shock that my mother just took me out with a duffel bag. She sped down the stairs, her feet rhythmically touching the stairs like a pad, pad, pad; followed by the duffel bag which sounded a lot like a building falling each time it hit the stairs. I heard the door fly open and slam, and the car spring to life as it raced down the driveway. I knew one thing for certain; there was no way my mother was going to slow down until she got where she was going. I gave my father a look asking for some clarity in the situation that just occurred right before our eyes.

He shrugged and just said, “Grandpa’s not doing well.”

Those words stuck to me like super glue. No matter how hard I tried to shake them they would not leave my mind. Nothing I did could distract me. I finally decided to help out and return the videos that we took out on Friday back to blockbuster. I drove as carefully as I could, passing the community college and KFC until I finally got to Blockbuster. I would have gone straight home back the way that I came, except I really wanted to stay away from home. Anything I could do to distract me from my grandfather’s condition.

After battling with people on route one, I finally made it home. Just in time too, cause my mom called and told the rest of us that we could come down to visit. We all literally flew into the car and sped off into the Merrit Parkway. Things were going great until the car started to flashing its warning signals and jerking around. Of course we really needed this; to have our car starting to spontaneously break down while we are trying to get to Long Island. But we made it there without killing each other. That’s always important.

So we were at my grandparent’s house; my aunt was there with my four month old cousin, who just started teething. It brought a smile to my face as she fit comfortably into my lap. We were watching sports center, trying to pick our brackets because it was Selection Sunday, when the phone rang. My dad went over to answer it. My brothers and I hung on edge, waiting, knowing that it was my mom on the phone. He hung up and told us we could go visit Grandpa. I could feel butterflies in my stomache. I wanted to go see Grandpa, but I knew that deep down inside if I went, I would cry.

We all piled back into the car and sped off to the hospital. All I could think in my mind, as my dad was lecturing us about what we would see in Grandpa, was a part from the song, “Oliver’s Army” by Elvis Costello, “And I would rather be anywhere else, but here today.” (Ironic isn’t it). That part just kept playing over and over in my head as we walked through the hospital to the ICU (intensive care unit). We were in the lobby of the ICU, my mom and her brother sobbing their eyes out with a box of one-use tissues. Looking at them made me want to cry too, so I turned my back to them, staring out the window of the fourth floor, fighting the tears that would come. We could only go in one at a time so my youngest brother went in first. Then my oldest brother. When they each came back into the lobby, their eyes were red, their bodies shaking from the sobs they were trying to hold back. Finally it was my turn, the time that I had been dreading. There was no way I could go in and see him, but I had to. To say goodbye. Just in case there wasn’t another chance.

I walked through ICU floor, passing the crazy woman who keeps asking us to help her, personally there was nothing I could do, but she still thought I could help her. I stopped at the sink and washed my hands. But of course as I was trying to hold back my tears, snot came running out of my nose like a leaky faucet. My grandma just happened to notice it and pointed it out to me. As if I needed this to be pointed out. But before I could respond, my uncle said, “Way to go Captain Obvious!” we all laughed heartedly; I was just laughing and hiccupping at the same time because at this point I couldn’t stop. I wiped my tears and walked in.

My grandfather was lying sideways in his bed, breathing really heavily. I could tell right then and there that these were his last hours. Looking at him from head to toe, he definitely looked thinner. He still had his hair; it never fell out or turned gray. His feet were bare and I laughed because since I’ve known him, I had never seen him without his black shoes. He was breathing real hard, you could see his chest moving up and down, and see him fight to keep control of his uncontrollable breathing. He was connected to a tube so he couldn’t talk to us.

“Hi Grandpa,” Grandma begins.

“Alex's here and she’s got some exciting news,” said my mother.

“Yep Grandpa, Alex's going to college. She is starting in the fall in Ohio.” replied my grandma.

I could only nod. I couldn’t say anything. I was too busy being strong, holding back the tears. I turned to leave because I had had enough, but something caught my eye. I turned around and saw my Grandpa waving back at me. At that point, I couldn’t hold back my tears.

I left the wing with my family, thinking the whole time that I would never see him again. My father took us home, back to New York where we tried to continue our lives as best we could. Everyone was in a lousy mood, so we had leftovers.

Around six thirty in the evening, my mother called confirming our worst fears. I couldn’t stand being in the house at that point. I decided that I needed to drive to clear my thoughts. I merged onto the Merrit and drove to the Merrit Parkway Lake also known as Putnam Lake. My lake. I had never been to it before, I’ve just always past it, so it was definitely a good time to get lost in Greenwich.

I finally found it. I got out my camera and started to take pictures. I felt an instant relief. I knew that Grandpa found heaven, and I found Heaven on Earth.My lake.

alt


© Copyright 2018 Alex Lyman. All rights reserved.

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