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PawPaw

My Grandpa's name was Angelo Cavaretta. He lived on a farm in Folsom with 5 horses total. As a little girl, I always went over there to ride and to spend time with him. We would wake up at around 8:00 A.M. to go feed the horses and then we would drive to Gus' to eat breakfast. I remember exactly what we used to get. He always got the bacon and cheese egg omelet with grits and a biscuit. He always used strawberry jelly on his biscuits. I got the exact same thing except I would use grape jelly on my biscuits. I never finished my breakfast to we always had to get a to go box for me.

When we would get back to the house, we would go into the house, drink some coffee, and chill out for a while while we waited for our food to digest. Once our food was digested, PawPaw, me and his dog Ruffy all went out to the barn. PawPaw had 4 horses, one grey Arabian, two red quarter horses, and one brown quarter horse. I always rode the grey arabian horse named Zazz. We always went out riding together, talking and laughing. But then, unfortunately, things started to change as I got older. We started riding less and whenever we did take out a horse, he always made me run to the house and grab stuff for him, or made me go get tools, and we were constantly fixing things all day long. It ended up not being as fun as it used to be when I was a little kid. I was about 13, maybe 14 when this started happening. I told my mom and all she said was, "Since your bigger and stronger, he wants you to start working more than playing around with horses." I was shocked my her answer. I decided to try and go over one more time to see if it was still the same old boring visit and he actually rose his voice at me once. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy that visit at all. When I got home, I told my mom that I didn't want to go over there for a while, that was the biggest mistake I have ever made.

It was the summer before Freshmen year. My friend Reagan invited me to go to Tampa Florida with her. We were going to stay with her grandparents because they had a huge house right on the beach. Reagan lives in New Orleans and I headed over there after volleyball practice. My mom and I stopped at PJ's for coffee and Reagan called me and told me the directions to her house. We were going to be getting on a plane by ourselves and this was the first time I was ever going to do this. I was very nervous. So my mom and I got to Reagan's at about 5:00 P.M. My mom and Mrs. Stacy(Reagan's mom) talked for a while and I said my goodbyes to my mom. The plane ride was scheduled for 11:00 A.M. so we had to get to bed kind of early. Well were teenagers so of course we didn't listen. It was about 11:30 P.M. when my mom texted me and told me that PawPaw had a heart attack. She was at the hospital so she couldn't call me at that moment. At about 12:30, my dad called me and told me that he wasn't in very good shape. I wasn't that worried because he was active and he ate good and healthy foods so I figured his body was strong enough to fight the heart attack. PawPaw was 71 and looked like he was 50! My dad told me he would call me back after the doctors talked to them about PawPaw. When I hung up the phone, my face must have looked real shocked because Reagan looked at me and immediately asked what was wrong. I told her about PawPaw and she came and sat next to me on the bed and gave me a big hug. My dad never called me back, he only texted me and told me that he and my mom was going to come and pick me up in the morning. I couldn't sleep at all that night. I just kept thinking about him. I started thinking positively though. I said in my head, "I WILL see him again, I WILL talk to him again, I WILL hug him again, and I WILL ride horses with him again.

The next morning came by slow. When my mom and dad walked into Reagan's room, I saw my mom had tissues in her hands and her eyes were really red form crying. I didn't think anything of it. I just thought that she was still shocked about the heart attack but at least PawPaw was alive...well I was wrong. I told Reagan I was so sorry about leaving but she said she totally understood. My mom, dad, and I get into the car and we start driving away. We pulled over at a gas station a few minutes away from Reagan's house. My dad gets out to put gas in the car and meets my mom by the passenger side door. They both got out and opened my door. They took a deep breathe and they told me that PawPaw had passed away. I was so shocked that I didn't even cry for a couple of seconds. Then it all hit me at once. I started crying so hard. My parents started crying too. My dad got back in the driver's seat and my mom stayed in the backseat with me and we cried together. My PawPaw was my mom's dad so she was crying really hard as well. We cried the entire ride home.

When I got home, there was a couple of cars in our driveway. It was some of the Cavaretta family. My mom has four older siblings and one of them(Uncle Keith) was over and my mom's mom(MawMaw) was over too. When I walked into the house, I could feel the sadness in the air. Uncle Keith was sitting on the couch crying and MawMaw was on the back porch crying and talking on the phone about what happened. My dad and I walked down the street to pick up my sister from her friend's house, we told her on the walk back. She started crying as well and the three of use locked hands as we walked back to the house.

PawPaw's funeral was a couple of days later. I remember getting ready with my cousin from Alabama and not looking forward to the funeral. It was hard to laugh and joke around because of the event taking place in just a couple of hours. The time finally came and we had to leave for the funeral. I remember walking into those doors and seeing the coffin at the front of the room. I didn't want to go up there and look at PawPaw, lifeless. I walked slowly up to the front and looked in. PawPaw looked so good and peaceful. I cried so hard when I looked at him. I knew he was in a better place but I wanted him here, with me. I remember thinking to myself, "Why did I stop going over there? Why did I act so selfish? He never knew whether or not I was going to SSA. He didn't know I got braces, and I never got to show him. Did I disappoint him in any way? Did I make him feel sad or unloved by not going over there?" All these thoughts flew into my head and I couldn't get them out the entire service. I felt so awful. I was so upset with myself. PawPaw affected everyone's lives. People said that they see PawPaw when they look at me, the way animals love me and how I'm a likable person just like him. I felt that that was an honor. PawPaw died June 13, 2010, and it has been about a year and a half since he died. PawPaw was and always will be my hero.





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