How I Grew Up and Learned About Myself

January 13, 2009
By Zeke Barrera, Cypress, TX

With our hearts as swollen as your hands, we prepare to say goodbye. The harsh realities of life peel back the layers of Christmas shine to expose the insecurities of a small boy not ready to let go of his grandpa. The hardest thing I have ever done was staring into your sedated face, knowing you wouldn’t be getting up.

Familiar faces with unknown names file in and out of the room to say their goodbyes and give their condolences, and with each entrance, the tears flow. Each entrance connected to everyone else in the room, each with their own beautiful memories with the man whose slowly slipping away. Each warm embrace kills me on the inside and I lose control. I try to regain my composure but I can’t, I just can’t.

A whisper finds my ear and tells me to be strong for my grandma; she needs me now more than ever. I take her hand in mine; she buries her face in my chest, and cries. The end draws near and dawns upon the man we love so much as he is surrounded by his four daughters, wife, and oldest grandson, and immediately, the healing commences. No one wants to see him go, but it’s understood that he must, he’s no longer suffering and can finally rest. No more doctor visits, no more appointments, no more struggles, no more late night hallucinations, no more battles. Just rest.

I probably made up for 10 years of not crying in one afternoon as we buried him. It’s strange how death and loss puts everything into perspective so perfectly. Family takes it’s rightful place atop of the priority list, as I feel closer to these people more than I’ve ever had to anyone else in my entire life. Christmas will never be the same, as I appreciate it that much more. True meaning emerges and rises, maturation sprouts to reveal itself just in the nick of time. I stand strong to take on the New Year with a renewed confidence and spirit, and with a guardian angel helping me every step of the way.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.

Parkland Book