Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

I Wish You Enough This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
     I wish you enough. I rocked back and forth on my heels, a single tearcoursing down my cheek. I wish you enough. The words kept repeating in my head, resonating off thecolorless walls of my mind and making my ears ring. I wish you enough. I knew he was getting old,but I had always thought there would be time. Time to say what had to be said. Time to talk. Timeto listen. Time to love. But there wasn’t. I wish you enough. There wasn’t enough time.There was hardly even enough to say good-bye. I wish you enough. I couldn’t stop the wordsdully repeating in my thoughts. Even if I could, I wouldn’t. I wish you enough. They were mygrandfather’s last.

The feeling of someone watching me pulled me from my thoughts. Iturned toward the door and saw Grandfather standing there. My shocked mind winced with the suddenbombardment of questions. What was he doing here? How was this possible? Was I going crazy? Then heopened his arms, and none of the questions mattered. I ran into his embrace, despondent sobswracking my body now that I finally allowed them. I was in his arms, and nothing elsemattered.

Grandfather guided me to the couch as his hand moved soothingly in circles on myback. “It’s alright. It’s alright,” he said softly, wiping the cascadingtears. Grandfather’s calming mantra had the desired effect. My breathing slowed, and the roomcame back into focus. I buried my head in his chest, content just to listen to the sound of hisvoice. His deep baritone traveled in one ear and out the other. I had no idea what he was saying.All I knew was the deep rumbling sound in my ear, the sound I wasn’t sure I could livewithout. Slowly, his voice petered out, and I lifted my head to look into his blue, twinkling eyes.He stared back. Then I made a terrible mistake - I started thinking.

The millions ofquestions came shooting back at me, as if they had never left. I blurted out the first one I couldwrap my mind around, “Why aren’t you dead?” As soon as the words left my mouth, Irealized how awful they sounded. My eyes filled with tears again, but Grandfather smiled and hiseyes twinkled even more. He simply answered, “I am.” I frowned in confusion, my tearsevaporating as quickly as they had come. Then I realized what he meant, and felt my body slump indisappointment. This grandfather wasn’t real. He was an image created by my imagination tohelp ease the pain. Grandfather was gone, and he wasn’t coming back.

Mygrandfather’s image interrupted my thoughts before they could sink in and do permanentdamage. He asked in a soft voice, “Does it truly matter if I’m real?” I felt myface go blank, and then smiled as he folded me in his arms again.

“Why did you haveto die?” I asked, pulling away and staring at him again. “Why?”

Grandfather sighed, “It was my time, Joybug.” I ignored his loving nickname andrepeated the question, my voice taking on an urgent tone.

Grandfather sighed again andpicked me up to sit on his lap. “I was ready, Joybug. I see now that you are not, but Iwas.” I opened my mouth, but Grandfather, knowing what I would say, cut me off.“Don’t you see? I had everything I could ever want. I had you, and I was at peace. Iwas ready.” I nodded, but my brows were still furrowed. Grandfather knew. He gave me a lookand said, “Joybug, do you not remember our last talk?” I smiled sadly. Of course I did- word for word. There had only been a few minutes to say what needed to be said. To say good-bye.That’s when he told me the family tradition. In my family, we never say good-bye. Never.It’s an unspoken rule. When we leave someone, we always end with, “I wish youenough.” I never knew why. No one ever told me - until the night Grandfather died. It was apoem, a wish, that had been passed down through my family. I committed it to memory. They wereGrandfather’s last words to me:

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright,

enough rain so you can appreciate light.

I wish you enough music to raise yourspirits,

enough silence so you can hear it.

I wish you enough happiness to make youglow,

enough pain to make you grow.

I wish you enough intelligence to make yourway,

enough innocence to enjoy the day.

I wish you joy. I wish you love. I wish youpeace. I wish you enough.


My thoughts were in turmoil. I didn’t have enough.Grandfather was gone. Life would go on. But I couldn’t. Grandfather would want me to but Icouldn’t without him. We were inseparable.

“We’re stillinseparable!” Grandfather said, again cutting into my thoughts. “Look at us! We aresitting here on the couch loving each other after everything that’s happened. Do you reallythink that I would let a little thing like death keep us apart?” I looked down and said,“You’re not real.” Grandfather tilted my chin up and looked me square in theeyes.

“It doesn’t matter if I’m dead. I’ve lived my life to thefullest - now we have to worry about yours. I’m not going to stand by and do nothing whileyou throw your life away, Joybug. Get out there and live!” My grandfather’s blue eyesbored into mine, flashing with determination. I could see the stubborn gene reflected in thoseeyes, the one I had inherited. Grandfather was not going to back down. And that was fine. Because Ihad already made my decision.

We slept on the couch that night. I lay curled in mygrandfather’s arms, our hearts beating in tandem. I felt a new sense of peace drift over me.I laid my head on his chest for the last time, and murmured the only words I could: I wish youenough, Grandfather.

When I awoke he was gone. As I knew he would be. Should be. I saunteredover to the large window that looked to the eastern sky, watching as almost undistinguishablepastel colors streaked across it, growing brighter with each passing second, mixing with the darkerblues and purples. Dawn broke as sunlight streamed into the room, warmth tingling on my arms as thefirst rays hit the sky. I gazed up into the sky, the darker side, and saw the stars slowly fadingfrom view, as the sun took over, claiming its realm to start a new day. And as the last star, thebrightest star, glistened at me one final time, I heard its whisper. I wish you enough, Joybug. Iwish you enough.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






Join the Discussion

This article has 5 comments. Post your own now!

In_Love_with_Writing said...
Jan. 7, 2013 at 11:59 am
This was nice. I liked it a lot. You're a good writer :) Can you please comment or rate some of my stories? It truly means the world to me!!
 
TAR11 said...
Jul. 19, 2011 at 6:43 am
Cool story please check mine out if you get the chance. 
 
J.Rae said...
Sept. 13, 2010 at 4:29 pm

This is extremely creepy because I just heard a story like this today! It was about a girl and her father at an airport and the father said, "I wish you enough." There was a guy  that overheard him and asked what it meant. The guy knew that he would never see his daughter again because he was really old, and she lived far away. He said that it was a tradition. He wished her things like enough pain so that she can enjoy every little happiness, and enough rain so that she would enjoy the s... (more »)

 
EmseaHailey said...
Sept. 2, 2010 at 8:40 pm
Wow.  Goosebumps.  Is this based off real life?  Because it seems that way.  You put so much emotion in your writing!  Keep at it!
 
HAYGURL said...
Apr. 29, 2010 at 3:07 am
I cannot believe that there's a Subway in Riverpark now! I live in Fres-LAME, too. Sadly. You're really good. I liked this article a lot. :D
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback