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"Dad do we really have to go to grandpas? Its soooo boring! I dont feel like watching Arabic T.V and hearing you and him talking to Labanese i cant understand a word!"
"Yes you do Melanie you know one day he'll be gone and you'll regret it"
He was right. It was June and i was at my sister graduation party and my dad and step-mom were there also i was having so much fun messing around with my cousins and playing catch in the back yard. But soon my dad said we had to go.
"Okay" i said
I gave my sister a giant hug and said congrats one last time and got to the car where they both were already waiting for me.
I came all smiley to the car "That was fun!" i beamed.
"Yes it was" said my dad "it was very nice"
We got about a mile or two away from my house and my dad dropped like bomb out of know where.
"Granpa has Colin cancer"
"What?!" I couldnt breath i could even try too... it felt like an atom bomb just fell on my heart and lungs i felt my eyes water instantly and streams of tears fell down my cheeks and i never cry infront of people. I was crying so hard my dad pulled over and climbed into the backseat with me and tried to sooth me in a very daddy voice. i started to scream
"Why!?" "Regret!" "Why didnt i want to go to his house more!?" "I love him!" "This cant be happening!"
I fell on my fathers chest making his shirt soaked with tears it was like he just went swimming with his clothes on.
he said "Dont have regrets now baby girl it will all be fine" "There getting the cancer out of him"
I looked up at him and snuggled in agaisnt his chest and started to hiccup giant hiccups that sounded like a heard of elephants, but i couldnt help it.
One thing i would always do with my grandpa is that we played an Arabic card game called Bastra he taught me when i was like five, he played solitare everyday all the time. Hes had the same deck for twenty years, which made them all tattered and worn i looked straight into my fathers eyes and said
"I want his cards if anything happeneds to him"
"There yours" Hr promised me.
We went to his house and he looked the same he was very short always wore a pink sweater (Which wasent ment to be his one chirstmas my cousins gave my grandpa a pink sweater because they put the wrong name on the package and he said "It has my name on it its mine!" Wore it everyday since.) with his kacky pants. He was sitting in his ancient recliner and was smiling at me. I was always his favorite and he proudly showed it.
The second we sat down on his couches he did his normal rountine asked us if we wanted anything to eat. We obgected. He never listens, so he came over and gave us some fruit. We would also tease he had a frit picking super talent he could go anywhere and pick the finest fruit, even in a barrel of all molding ones.
I was already crying thinking in my head "This is WRONG this cant be it!" "Hes such a good person!" He couldnt hurt a fly if you paid him a trillion dollars. He worked for my aunt and did everythig she asked him to them worked down at the church as a janitor he loved his job. It gave him something to do.
My dad gave me a stern look and told me to buck up. Mt grandpa didnt understand what was happening to him. He just went with the flow.
After his surgery happened he went all down hill. He was at the hospital for a couple weeks i was there 12 hours a day watching over him, he mainly slept, and i would just sit beside him.
My whole family would always be there. There was always Me my aunt and my step-mom sun up to sun down. I didnt mind it i wanted to. After awhile my dad said i should take a break go ride my horse or something and get away for awhile. I was mad.
"NO! Im staying here!"
He'd just look at me and shake his head.
After a month he was home. But he wasent my grandpa he still and his smile where his eyes always lit up and his pipe in his hand, but he was all drugged up. He didnt remember who anyone was but me. Which was weird. My grandma had died six years ago on July 17th 2002, and one morining he woke up and was frantic in his house and called my aunt.
"Where Elaine!" he screamed threw the house.
"Dad... She died six years ago"
"what?" tears already filling his eyes. She was just here, she ate dinner with us last night. Dont you remember"?
"No dad" she sighed
After that he greived over a death that he had already greived six years ago. It was the saddest thing i've ever seen. He was so depressed.
Then he started to do weird things like reach his hand in the air to grab something.. but always there was nothing there. He started to do things all mixed up and lost weight rapidly. He went back to the hospital.
I stayed again tweleve hour shifts. They gave him a certain medicine at differant time. One was six hours, twleve hours, and three hours. He turned white as snow. Still loseing weight. He would have good days and bad days. On one of his good days he went for a walk in the hospital and started to dance and his pants fell down to his ankles and everyone was laughing around him and laughed too. On bad days... He would be all hooked up drugs going everywhere in him, when he had to pee that was the first. He would scream it hurt him so bad, i would just start to cry.
Things got better he got to come back home. He had lots of happy pills where he would just start laughing and smiling and talking in arabic it was all to good to last. I was right.
July came around and he was dieing and we know he wouldnt last long i spent as much time as possible that i could with him i go to the hospital 8am-11pm everyday. Then one night i spent the night at my moms and i couldnt go see him. I woke up the next morining with a pang in my heart and i looked out the window and saw it was thunderstorming and bad. There was warnings out and everything.
My dad called my mom and she swiftly came into my room and said
"Honey dad just called he thinks you should go to the hospital right away he doesnt think he'll last any longer"
I started to cry instantly and she embraced me with a hug i got dressed and ran to the car where i looked out the window and saw the raindrops fall from the sky like the tears running down my face.
Right when i got to the hospital i ran to the elevator all by myself and pushed floor 4 where he was then ran into room 4014 and saw my whole family crying there was my two cousins step-mom dad and aunt and my great aunt and uncle where outside.
I started to cry all over again he was pale and you could see him bones threw his skin.
My dad was telling me a story that ten minutes ago a single tear ran down his cheek, and that ment he was seeing something beautiful angels waiting for him in heaven.
Then he heard him take a breath and lunged at him he coughed we thought that was it we started to cry. My dad checked his heart beat and reasurred us it was still beating.
I looked at the clock 11:40am and then we heard him take a big gulp of air and just like he was gone.. he head went limp and went forward. I was crying so hard i couldnt think straight. We all exchanged hugs and we told the nurse. She came by and put a single red rose in his hands and then my dad called a man to take him away to the mourge, it was a horrible sight to see and i couldnt stand it.
He died July 17th 11:40am the exact time and day as my grandmother. Convince? I dont think so. A week later the funeral happened... The first time i saw him in his casket at the wake i screamed at my dad "Thats not Grandpa! He wearing lipstick and eye shawdow! He doesnt even look the same!"
i cried threw the whole funeral and hiccuped and snuggled agaisnt my dad. My Grandpas brother cried.. the first time anyone saw him cry before. We went to the cememtary where he would be burried next to my Grandma we did the traditional Lebanese thing we kissed the casket,He was burried with his favorite things his pink sweater and his pipe.
My grandpa was a very respected man and would do anything for his family. When he first came to America from Lebanon he washed cars for 25 cents a week. That didnt get you far. He would always wash our feet to show he respected us. And before he died i returned that favor on a good day. I washed and massaged his feet in hot steamy water and he smiled at me the whole time.
A month or so later after he died he came to me in a dream i was helping people for a funeral. I ad never met this people but i said i would help it was an open casket and i looked inside it and there was my grandpa he was sheivering in hospital clothes the way he looked before he died.
I started to scream at the people
"hes not dead! Look hes moving!"
They just put there heads down like i was crazy and i started to sceam it out over and over again then all of a sudden his color turned back he was wearing his pink sweater and kacky pants and said
Two things that my grandpa had also said "You Betcha" "Like The Minnesota weather" (If you never been to Minnesota before you wouldnt understand but one day its snowing the next its 90 degrees and humid) I looked at the people i was helping and i said hes not dead! One ast time, then my grandpa looked at me with the smiled that made his eyes twinkled and said
"Its a side effct of death"
Ever since then i havent been afraid to look at whats on the othr side.