I Saw Superman Die This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   AsI grew up, I learned the way of being man. The main thing I found out about howto be a man is - you never cry. That was hard for me, because I was a veryemotional kid. I would go to funerals and wonder how the men managed not to cry,even if the deceased was one of their parents. I've never understood why mencan't just let it out. So it was quite a shock when I saw my grandpa cry for thefirst time.

My grandfather is a short, big man. He is very stern andopinionated. He has a distinct limp from many operations because of his diabetes.My grandfather is just flat out tough. No matter who yelled at him over theyears, he never broke down; it only made him madder. I used to think he wasSuperman, because nothing ever phased him. He even has super strength and let allhis grandkids jump on his stomach when we were little. As he laid on his back,his big stomach made the perfect trampoline. Then one day when I was 14,something happened that changed my opinion of my grandfather forever.

Itwas a beautiful summer day as we lugged some old home videos into mygrandparents' house, where the whole family had gathered. Trust me, it was prettycrowded with one great grandmother, two grandparents, seven adults and 12grandchildren. We all laughed as we watched a video of my brother diving onto thebed and falling over the other side. I looked over at my great grandmother; shehad the biggest smile as she looked at the old days.

As the tape came tomy grandfather's sixtieth birthday, the image of his sister, now dying ofParkinson's Disease, came on the screen. Then something happened to mygrandfather that I had never seen before.

His sister, Betty, was laughing,talking and making jokes on the screen. It was weird, because as we watched thevideo, she was in her own world somewhere, and never really talked anymore. Mygrandfather started to cough. He had gotten a little emotional over the years andcoughed to stop himself from tearing up. Then, all of a sudden he stopped. It wasjust like being in a forest when all of a sudden everything goes quiet, and youcan hear nothing but the nearby stream. That was what this was like: silence -except for Betty's jokes coming from the television.

I turned and lookedat my grandfather and realized that when I brought in those tapes, it was likebringing the kryptonite to Superman. The visions coming from the TV had gotten tomy grandfather and tears were pouring from his eyes. I felt very strange, becauseall those earlier years seemed like a lie. I thought my grandfather was a man ofno emotion, but that just wasn't true. In the few seconds it took for me to turnaround and look at him, my opinion of him changed.

My grandfather is nolonger Superman. I saw that man die in front of my eyes. Now, when I walk intothat house and look at him I see something much better. I don't see my grandpa asa man who is superhuman and can take anything you throw at him, but as a humanbeing. I see him as a man with emotions and feelings.

There is a saying,"If you kick him, does he not fall? If you make fun of him, will he notcry?" Even if it doesn't go exactly like that, I used to think it didn'tapply to my grandfather, but it does. If you kick him, he will fall; if you makefun of him, he will cry. He is just a regular person. As the tears ran down mygrandfather's face, my opinion of him changed forever - for the better.




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






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