He's Still With Me

November 27, 2007
Some children have vivid images of their first dog, or their first bike ride on their brand new purple and pink bike with an extremely loud horn. But there are some kids, including myself that have distinct pictures of their first encounter with a death that includes a family member.

As I was getting dressed in my long blue jeans with carpenter’s pockets and my blue Harley Davidson T-shirt, I had no clue what the night had planned for my family and I. My grandpa, a six foot man who was strong and capable of everything was currently in the hospital, and was in the hospital long before that day I was told his destiny of dying of colon cancer. He was staying at Richland Hospital , a fancy hospital that smelt of old people and cleaning detergent.

Before arriving at the hospital, my family and I went out to eat at Shoney’s, which was my favorite restaurant at the time. As we all sat there laughing and goofing off with one another, I had no idea that just a couple of hours from then, I would be balling my eyes out. On the way out from Shoney’s, I saw a toy machine that was packed with these big, fluffy teddy bears. And as soon as I saw the one that was white with a purple jacket with little black poky dots on it, I knew I had to have it for myself. Daddy must have used at least ten dollars just so I could have that adorable looking bear. I was so happy and excited that that bear was mine, that when we got to the hospital I took it with me inside.
While walking in the sliding glass door of the hospital, I began to get nervous and softly shaking in my shoes. Being as small, and young as I was I didn’t know why my grandpa, a man that I saw as a superhero and could never get sick was in a place like this. But I didn’t bother to ask my parents why, because they looked worried and confused as well. Riding the elevator up to my grandpa’s room there was an awkward, creepy silence. As we stepped slowly off the big elevator, my aunt met my family and I and took him to his new room.

Walking into my grandpa’s hospital room, I was so afraid that I was uncontrollably shaking. When I saw this feeble, small man lying in this white sheeted bed, I almost broke down and cried. But I told myself to stay strong; crying wouldn’t make this situation any better. So I walked lethargically toward this man, that didn’t even look like my grandpa. When I finally got to his bed side, the enormous bed was too tall for me to climb on. So my grandma picked me and placed me gently in to her husband’s arms. I laid there for at least thirty minutes just hugging my grandpa with out ever letting go. But I still never wept one single tear.

After an hour of being in my grandpa’s room, the doctors came in and told us we need to step out side for twenty or so minutes. While we were waiting to go back inside, my aunt and I went outside and collected some rocks from the garden just outside the building. We came back inside with a bundle of rocks and lied them down on the floor just outside my grandpa’s door. I had not an idea as of what we were going to do with them, but I soon learned that my aunt was going to teach me how to multiply. So we sat there putting the rocks into groups and doing all sorts of things with those brightly colored rocks. Then finally after thirty minutes the doctors came back out and we went back in. the image I saw I will never forget, my grandma softly crying in the corner. I didn’t have the nervous to ask why; all I knew that something bad has happened of something bad was going to happen.

My family and I left his room around eleven o’clock that night. My mom, sister, and brother rode in my mom’s car, and my daddy and I rode in his big, blue SUV. I sat in the back seat, directly behind my father. When we got into the car, my daddy cranked the engine, and it hummed for a couple of seconds, then suddenly my dad cut the engine off. I asked him, “Why he did you turn the car off?”
And he just sat there for a moment silently. Then he coughed up, “Amber, there’s something is wrong with Grandpa.”

I told him, “Yeah, I know, he is sick, but he will get better.” We both sat there quietly, without moving and silently breathing.

Then finally he said, “No, Amber, Grandpa is very sick. You see he will being going to sleep and never waking up.”

A couple of days after that visit to the hospital, my Grandpa, Corky, passed on and he finally was in no pain, without any worry in the world. That day I will remember for the rest of my life. March eleventh two-thousand. When I was told the horrific, life changing news, I felt like my world as I knew it was being flushed down the toilet.

After that unbearable day, I saw the world differently behind my red, sore, teary eyes. Before that incident, I thought no one like my grandpa could ever leave me because he was my hero, and still is till this very day.

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