My Papa This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   I don't remember much, I blocked out and forgot a lot of details. I would watch TV and spend time with my Nana and wait for my Papa to come home from the club. When he came home, I'd rush to the door and hug and kiss him hello. We'd talk for awhile and then he'd put on records and listen to them. I'd usually read a book or, when I was younger, I'd sit on his lap and relax. I always felt his love, and I would frequently stay overnight so I could spend more time with him and my Nana. When I was about twelve years old, my parents divorced and I eventually ended up living with my father and stepmother (by my choice). This set of grandparents are my mother's parents. All contact with them ceased for six years except for an occasional phone call and when I saw them at my Bat Mitzvah four years ago. They didn't call me and I didn't call them.

About one year ago, on September 29, 1988, my grandfather died. This past Sunday, September 24, 1989, I went to the Sharon Memorial Cemetery to see the unveiling of my grandfather's grave. Many emotions I had not dealt with the previous year came over me such as guilt, anger, and hurt. I was guilty because I never made an effort to see him or call him, yet I was angry because he never made an attempt to call me or see me either. I was hurt because in my mind, I don't know if he died loving me or not and I didn't get a chance to tell him how I felt either. Everyone tells me he did love me, but if he did why didn't he call me and make an effort to see me? I don't think I'll ever know the answer.

I know now that I have to make an effort to see and spend time with my remaining grandparents so I don't lose them like I lost my grandfather. Many people don't realize their mistakes until it's too late. I realized after my Papa died how much I missed spending time with him. During those six years, I just blocked out all of my love for him and all of a sudden it came crashing down when he died. Death is hard to deal with in the first place, but if you add all these factors to it, it becomes even harder to deal with.

If your situation is similar to mine, please read my words and think about what you really want to do. DonAt shut anyone out and don't let them shut you out, because if they die you might regret not saying or doing something and then it will be too late. n


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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