Papa's Girl

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic

This my memoir about my first death experience and how it has shaped me to who i am today.

Papa’s Girl

I can’t believe it happened. There I was standing on a cold February day, with no jacket. I watched as my two brothers and other family members carried my grandfather’s casket from the car to a tented, preserved area in the graveyard. I walked up to the tented area with my niece snug in my arms. She sighed which made me hold her closer to my chest. I never really thought about this. I’ve never experienced death before this of my grandfather. So being here, took a huge toll on me, one I would never be able to replace. There were five rows of chairs in our preserved area. I sat in the second row, closest to the open range of graves to my left. My niece was squirming in my lap but as soon as the Military leader spoke, she slowed to a stop. “We’re here to honor a man of dignity, patience, and loyalty.” He said. After a few more empowering words, a stout military lady came up to my grandma and kneeled. I saw emotion in this lady’s face but I was sitting poker faced as I looked on. In her arms was an American flag framed in a wooden border. I saw this lady mumble a few words to my grandma before she busted out with tears. To be honest, I had no clue why this lady was crying. She didn’t lose anybody. But now, as I look on it, she cried because she felt my pain, she felt everybody’s pain. When I saw tears swell up in my dad’s eyes, who was sitting in the front row right in front of me, I sunk deep in my chair with my niece rested and silent on my chest. Little did I know, that even though this day, I was weaker than ever, this even would make me strong till this day.

When I was little, I loved my grandfather to death. Being a loving yet wild three year old, all I needed was my Papa, my gentle giant. I never really saw him all that much, despite the fact that he and my grandma lived one street down, which really bothered me. He’d come over every once and a while and always for my birthday parties. He’d sit in his favorite chair, the flowered recliner. He looked a little mean just sitting there with his arms folded to his chest, but inside he was the sweetest man in the world. I would sit on his lap and just focus on him and his small, bead-like hazel eyes. I was Papa’s girl. And now, as far as I’m concerned I always will be.

Every so often, I would go over to my Papa’s house while my dad and my brother would cut lawns. He always greeted me with his same, huge gummy smile and a tight bear hug, which I love and miss till this day. I went down to the garage to grab me a Pepsi, my favorite when I was little, then I headed down to the den to watch T.V. My Papa would always be in the other garage playing solitaire while wearing his favorite cowboy, straw hat. When my dad would pick me up after a few hours, him and my Papa would talk.. and talk.. and talk. Back then, I hated waiting for my dad to stop blabbing his jaws, but now I wish I would’ve spent the time I had to talk more with my Papa.

As I got older, the more I got distant from my Papa. I never went over there anymore. Instead, I just stayed at home. I was in my own world and whenever he came around to the house, I would always lock myself in my room, blasting my music. Sometimes, well most of the time, I wouldn’t even say bye. But he understood, he always did, even when I didn’t. And the mean way I treated him never bothered him, because he knew that I loved him, which I did, very much. I just wished I showed it more.

I hated car shows. But of course my family would always go to them when Bay Days came around in the Fall. My Papa and my dad entered every year. They had old cars that looked and drove like they were brand new. My dad transformed an old, crappy white Chevy truck into a nice, red one. My dad entered that every year and always came home with some trophy, usually first. I would sit in my lawn chair with my grumpy attitude just waiting for the show to be over. I will admit it, I was selfish. I should’ve tried to understand that just because I didn’t care about something didn’t mean that nobody should.

The worst week of my life: when we discovered my Papa had cancer. It was horrible and unforgettable. The look on my family’s face is glued in my mind and will be there forever. It was a rainy Friday night. I had to skip out on church because my parents were at the hospital with them. The next day was my last day with him, but I didn’t know that. Me, my brother, and dad were up in his room. I was in my favorite position, slouched in a chair. He began to wake up and speak a little bit. I couldn’t really tell what he was saying, but just hearing him made me straighten up my posture. The look on his face will never escape my mind. I’ll never forget my last memory with him. “Come say bye to Papa.” My dad said, as we were about to leave. I hugged him and he put his hand on top of mine. I saw his lips mouth the words “I love you”. Those were the final words I heard out of his mouth.

I was sick the week my Papa passed away. That was the day before Valentine’s Day and the day before I would return to school. My house received a call from my grandma and I saw my mom and dad run out to the car. “He’s dying!” That was what my dad yelled as he slammed the front door. I stood at the foot of the stairs, hanging on to the rail, trying not to collapse on the floor. I tried to hold back my tears and be strong. Thinking to myself, “He can make it.” “God works miracles all the time.” “Everything is going to be okay.” But I knew all of that wouldn’t work. Nothing was going to be okay. I ran to my room and slammed the door as hard as I could. Hot tears were running down my face as I punched the wall nearest to me. I jumped on my bed and shoved my face into my pillow. “Why?!” A muffled scream was heard through my pillow.

Now, there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about him. His death has shaped me more than anything. I am so thankful for who I have now. And I am now stronger because I live my life to the fullest. Mostly so I can be with the people who I love the most. I no longer make the mistake of not spending time with my family. I do wish I spent more time with him but I think that is the reason why this has affected me so much. He will always be remembered as an honorable war veteran and an honest man, but to me, he will always be my Papa. And I will always be Papa’s girl.

Submitted: May 22, 2009

© Copyright 2022 FantasyFountain101. All rights reserved.

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dj hundley

Very good writing

Mon, April 13th, 2020 7:02pm

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