Charles Lee Beeson

February 24, 2012
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The day was February 1, 2005. I was in the 5th grade. I knew something was wrong as soon as I woke up. I wasn’t in my own bed or even in my own home.
I woke up on the floor of my grandparents’ spare room. I wasn’t alone in the room, either. Almost all of my cousins were there. My cousin Rhiannon was using my leg as a pillow since her brother Jacob had stolen her pillow in the night. David, her other brother, was asleep in the only chair in the room suitable for sleeping in. I was the first one awake, so I gently eased my leg out from under Rhiannon’s head and replaced it with my own pillow. I stood up and grabbed my stuffed animal named Ouse Ouse, a mouse.
I climbed my way over my cousins out of the room and quietly went downstairs. I kept looking around the corners of every door way. I wanted to avoid running into my aunt, Deb, or other cousin Lynne, for both Deb and Lynne were cruel people that no one in my family besides my grandmother wanted to have anything to do with anymore.
I finally got down the stairs and around the corner into the kitchen. I tiptoed through the kitchen into the dining room. From there I could see him. He was in the rocking chair wrapped up in a blanket.
I put Ouse Ouse in front of me and wrapped my arms around him. I just stood there staring at him not knowing what to do. I knew he was my grandfather, but he didn’t look like my grandfather should look like.
He was never a very large man by any standard, but now he was just skin and bones. He used to be a strong, healthy man, but now he could hardly move his head, let alone lift an arm or stand up anymore. He used to have a full head of silver hair, and now he was bald. He had even lost his eyebrows and eyelashes, to0. His eyes that used to be so full of life were sunken into his head so far that he could hardly open them. He had lost all but one of his bright white teeth, and the one that was left was almost brown in color. He also snored now, and he never did that before.
I just stood there staring at him for a very long time, so long that my dog Bubba came to see what I was looking at. I looked down at Bubba, and then I looked back my grandfather. I slowly took a step forward into the living room, and with each step Bubba would follow behind me encouraging me to go farther. I would stop every time my grandfather would snore and wait for a while until Bubba would lean against me making me move forward again.
I got half way across the room before I had to stop for a long time again. My grandfather had stopped breathing for a while, and I just stood there and held Ouse Ouse, Bubba just looked at me. All of a sudden, my grandfather jerked and opened his eyes as much as he could. I shrank down some as my grandfather looked around as much as he could. We locked eyes, and for just a moment I could see my grandfather sitting there the way he should look, not the shadow he had become. Right after that, though, I saw hurt in his eyes. The hurt from the pain he was in and the fact that his granddaughter was scared of him.
I didn’t smile or move right away, but once I saw the hurt in his eyes, I ran to him and gave him a hug, well, the best hug I could give him around the rocking chair and his blankets. I did this because I knew that shadow of a man was my grandfather and just because he didn’t look like a human being didn’t mean that he didn’t have feelings like everyone else.
I heard my grandfather moan when I hit him. I felt bad for hurting him, but I felt even worse for making him so sad before. I knew he was weak, too weak to hug me back. I told him, “It’s okay, Grandpa. You don’t have to move. I can just hug you!” When I looked up at his face, I could tell he was trying to smile but was too weak to at the time. I climbed up some to kiss his cheek, even though I knew it would hurt him more. Right at that moment is when my mother walked into the room with a camera and took our picture. That picture was my favorite picture of my grandfather and me together. It was also the last picture we ever took of him.
This was the last time that I saw my grandfather alive. He died later that day while I was away from the house.

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