Mom made a mistake mentioning pancakes to me, they were all I had thought about last night and his morning. Let me tell you, there is nothing like a hefty stack of golden-brown pancakes, lathered up in syrup and butter, covered in chocolate chips, and with just the right amount of crunch around the edges. I had been watering at the mouth all morning waiting for my family to get ready, with an image of pancakes burned into my brain the entire time.
“You boys ready?” screamed my mother from across the house.
“We have been ready!” my brothers and I bellowed back.
After waiting on my mother for a few more minutes, even though she had said she was ‘ready’ we finally left to go pick up Gramps and head over to the International House Of Pancakes. After staring out my window in awe of things adults would find simple and boring for what felt like an eternity, we finally arrived at Grandpa’s apartment.
“I’ll only be a second!” My mother assured us, as she knew at this point my brothers and I were probably minutes away from just eating the car because we were so hungry.
My brothers and I kept busy for the few minutes my mom was gone by playing ‘I spy’, I wasn’t very skilled in these sorts of games as I still wasn’t super familiar with the world around me at this age.
“Hey, I Spy...mom!” said my brother, Harrison.
“Ugh finally it’s been so long..” groaned Alex, my other brother.
“Wait is she crying?”
“And she’s running.”
“What’s wrong with mommy?” But before I could get an answer the Suburban’s door swung open with a whoosh and a thud.
“Grandpa?” asked Alex, he is a couple years older and better understood the gravity of the situation at the time. I however, was still very young and did not quite understand what was going on and why we weren’t on our way to IHOP yet.
“Hahaha you’re so funny mommy”
Mom breaks out into an even more uncontrollable sob.
“Mommy isn’t joking? What? Grandpa isn’t coming with us?” I thought to myself.
“He’s dead!! Grandpa is dead!!!”
The Suburban door slams shut.
“Mommy isn’t joking is she…” I said aloud with a tone of innocence.
“No Daniel...She isn’t.” Alex muttered.
As soon as I saw the lights of the cop cars and the ambulance the rest of the day became a blur. Even as a child I knew that those haunting red and blue lights meant that this was real. My memories of the rest of the day are patchy, with more holes than whole. I remember being picked up and placed in Mrs. Child’s car, I remember being tormented with boredom as my brothers played video games with Mrs. Child’s son, I remember Mrs. Child’s getting mad at me for playing with my food, but most of all I remember commotion. Days later we flew out to the east coast for a service with my Grandpa’s family over there. Even though I didn’t know most of the people there, we all shared on thing in common those few days, the horrible feeling of loss. My Grandpa had passed peacefully in his sleep the night before. Although I wish he was still here with us, I bet he had the best pancakes that morning up in the clouds. I love you Gramps.