My Snow Angel

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
A grandfather shares wisdom

Submitted: May 04, 2008

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Submitted: May 04, 2008



There’s a snow warning on the television. The channel five weatherman is telling me that we should receive two to twelve inches of snow tonight. Curious and skeptical, I look outside, surprised to see that the weatherman was right, it is snowing. The fluffy white flakes falling from the sky remind me of one thing: my grandfather. I can remember when I was little and the first flake falling from the sky meant a day full of fun with my grandfather. He was always ready for an adventure in the new snow, as white as the hair on his head. He would bundle me up to the point where I could only waddle and then lead me out in the snow and teach me how to make a snowball or show me what vegetable makes the best nose for a snowman. My grandpa had the heart of a child until the day he died, but he had wisdom that few people attain in their whole lives. 

Shyness stunted my social life when I was little. I didn’t have too many friends at school; the one person I could always count on for some fun was my grandfather. He was always there to pick me up from school. His smiling face would push the thoughts of loneliness I felt at school to the back of my mind. My grandpa was my best friend. And one of my favorite things to do with my best friend was playing in the snow. Thus romping through the snow with my grandfather became a favorite, but scarce past time. It doesn’t snow much in St. Louis, so when the fantastic white flurries fell from the sky, we took full advantage of it.

I can remember on one of these special days when my grandpa walked me to the park behind my house to go sledding. All of the kids at the park were sledding down the giant hill strictly devoted to sledding on a snowy day. If a kid was lucky, or unlucky in a parent’s view, their sled would gain enough momentum to carry them onto the iced over lake. I wanted to join the other kids, who were laughing and fully enjoying their snow day, but my shy seven year old self couldn’t gain the courage to even talk to the other kids. So I led my grandpa to a wimpy, secluded, empty hill, to sled all by myself. I had fun sledding down the hill with my grandfather, but I kept looking at the other kids having the time of their lives, wishing I could join them.

My grandfather aptly picked up on my longing and asked me why I couldn’t just walk over to them and join them in their fun. I told him that it wasn’t that easy. He didn’t understand why. I then told him that people didn’t like me that much, so why even try. This disgruntled my grandfather as he wasn’t one for treating people badly. He asked me who didn’t like me; I said everyone, no one at school really seemed to want to be my friend.Then my grandpa said something to me that would change my life; he told me that it didn’t matter if some people didn’t like me, it didn’t mean that everyone didn’t like me. He told me that I wouldn’t know if someone would like me until I tried, and if it turns out that they don’t like me then they aren’t worth it to begin with. Though my grandfather’s words strike me as inspiring now, the moment he said them I could not bring myself to agree with them.

At first my grandfather’s words scared me. Being ridiculed and disliked at school created a fear of people within me, which eventually turned into a great dislike. I was still too terrified to live as my grandfather had said to. Eventually I became too proud. But then six years later, a year after my grandpa died, I finally realized the wisdom behind his words.

Snowflakes swirled down from the sky tickling my nose as I walked home from school. I felt the same sadness I felt everyday when I walked by the spot he would stand in, waiting for me to walk out of the school, so he could take me home, stuff me full of cookies, and tell me more spectacular stories of being a “dubbya dubbya two war veteran”.  I still didn’t have a great abundance of friends, so not seeing my grandfather waiting for me after school was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to deal with. This particular day I was feeling pretty down because it was the first snowy day since my grandfather had died. Having no one to enjoy my snowy day with, I decided to take a walk on my own. My feet carried me to the old sledding hill, teeming with children screaming in delight. Suddenly that day, the day with my grandpa on the hill, came back to me. It had snowed a few times in between and I still spent some of those days with my grandpa, but I think his absence was what forced that memory back into my mind. I wished I had realized my grandpa’s wisdom earlier, so I could thank him, so I wouldn’t have suffered through so many friendless years. 

I realized that my grandfather’s words could have saved me. Saved me from the loneliness I felt everyday, saved me from tear filled nights, saved me from a broken heart, saved me from becoming the broken person I was. There are so many days that go by when I wish that my seven year old self had understood that my grandpa was trying to save my life, but I was to afraid to let it happen. I always appreciated my grandpa for being there for me and for being my best friend. We were made for each other. After he died my dad told me that he thinks I was the reason he lived for so much longer than he should have. After my dad said that I realized that my grandpa needed to look after me, he needed to know that I was okay before he left me. Unfortunately I wasn’t okay after he was gone. I had lost my best friend, but the day I took a walk alone in the snow, I think my grandpa was still with me, still trying to help me. That day I finally realized that I would be okay, I just needed to listen to my grandfather, my snow angel.

© Copyright 2018 Holden Caulfield. All rights reserved.

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