The Goodbye

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It was Christmas vacation and I was eleven years old. I remember sitting at the counter trying to get through my winter reading Witch of Blackbird Pond. I remember the phone ringing and before my step mom had even answered it I knew who it was and what they were going to say. My eyes started to tear up and I ran upstairs. That was the day my grandfather died.



To start at the begging this man was not blood related. My real grandfather was in the air force and was never really around when my dad and aunt were growing up. When my dad was eighteen my grandma and grandpa officially got a divorce. My dad kept in touch with his dad but they would only speak maybe once a year. My grandma later got re-married to Don Forbes, the man I call my grandpa. In 1992 in the middle of July my grandfather was rushed to the hospital because he needed a heart transplant immediately. My family was scared-scared for his life-scared for what was going to happen next-scared for the future. My dad was dating my mom at the time and let’s just say the night my grandfather was saved was the night I was conceived.


My grandpa was a quiet man. He never really talked but just kind of sat back and watched the world around him. Even though he never said much, we had a connection. I don’t know why because we didn’t have anything in common. We would share the little things. Everyday after dinner he would have to take some medicine. Even though I was only a few years old, I remember I loved the smell of his medicine. Everyday he would pick me up I would sit on his lap and we would smell the packaging of the medicine together. It would always make him laugh because his medicine didn’t even smell good! It smelled like a skunk but day after day we would smell it. I was always at my Grandpa and Grandma’s house. Every Tuesday I would go there and spend the day with them. We would always have dinner together and my Grandpa would say “I was the best little eater he ever did see.” My uncle Michael was in high school at the time and even though I was only four I would love to fallow him and his friends around. After they would all leave I would climb up on my Grandfather’s chair and fall asleep on top of his big belly while watching the television series Friends.


When I was six my dad moved away and I didn’t get to see my grandarents as much. My grandparents would come to all my school concerts and T-ball games but other than that I would only see them on holidays or when we would go visit my dad. When I was seven my dad got re-married. For a while I didn’t see my dad, once he got over his newly wed he started to come around more. It was nice when he came around because it was like the old family was all together again.


I don’t know why but I will never forget I was in the fourth grade and just my grandfather and I were taking a trip to Boston to see my dad. It was the last time we ever got some alone time together. He had picked me up from school early and brought me to Burger King. We were waiting in line and I couldn’t decide what to get because I was over the kids menu. I asked him “Grandpa, what should I get a bacon burger or a salad?” He gave me a funny look and said “a bacon burger of course.” It was the first bacon burger I had ever had and it was delicious!


A year later it was Thanksgiving Day. My grandmother always had at least thirty people over at her house for the big dinner. It was my favorite holiday just because I got to see my grandparents and my uncle Michael again. This particular day though my grandfather was put into the hospital. The doctors weren’t sure what was wrong at first so they told us to go on with our day. After our meal my dad and I brought my grandpa some leftovers. We walked in the room and he was watching E.T. I didn’t really want to look at him because it wasn’t the man I was used too. I just kept my eyes on the TV screen as Eliot and ET were also being seen by doctors. He didn’t look so I good. He looked weak and white. A few weeks later we found out he had cancer.


After that, my grandpa had to go live with my dad because he had to be treated in Boston and since my dad lived there it was easier on him. I went to visit him a few times but with school and everything it was hard to visit him as much as I would have liked. It was the year 2004 and the Red Sox had made it to the World Series. My grandpa was a huge Red Sox fan as well as my dad. They would watch the games together everyday and would always go out of their way to pass Fenway Park whenever they had a home game. The night the Red Sox won the World Series I called my dad at midnight as soon as the game had ended when he answered the phone I heard him crying. I was too young at the time to realize why but he was crying because not only was he happy but because my grandfather had made it to see the Red Sox win a world series.


A few months later was when my grandfather had fallen into a coma. It was the first day of my winter vacation and this time my grandmother picked me up from school to head to Boston. I didn’t really understand what was happening to my grandfather but when we walked into the hospital room it was clear. My grandfather’s eyes were closed and he looked grey. That was the last time I saw him. After that the decision was made to pull the plug. Everyone came to Boston to say there last goodbyes. It had been days of sitting in the hospital waiting. I had the opportunity to see him again but I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to see him like that. My dad and I went down to the hospital’s church to pray. I wrote a note to God in one of the books asking him to help my grandpa. That was the first time I really cried. The next day was when I was sitting at that counter and the phone rang. I will never forget that day.


Even though my grandpa wasn’t my true grandpa he will never be replaced and I will always miss him. I still think of him from time to time, and I swear I even feel him around me. It’s been five and a half years and so much has changed. My grandmother moved out of the house that I grew up in. It was a sad and I still do cry about him and about how my life has changed since he’s been gone, but I know he’s looking down on me and helping me in everything I do.





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