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Stolen Memories

My 8 year old finger, sticky from my doughnut, clung to the metal fence. My chin resting on the fence rung, my eyes followed the experienced horseback riders go around and around trying to impress the judges. Their outfits looked stiff and warm, the long dress coats and suits only worn for the shows. My eyes still wanting sleep but my body wired to go. My grandpa standing right next to me, his giant looking shadow sprawled over me. We were at one of the many morning horse shows we went to.

The smell of hot dogs and people radiated from the bleachers around me. I stood on the cold metal bleachers with my new kids t-shirt. My grandpa was right next to me holding my free hot dog and drink. I was too excited to eat. I had my ear plugs around my neck. It was already loud and the engines were just started. The first lap of that race was the loudest thing I’ve ever heard. Some of the cars you could tell were faster than the others; they were speeding and taking the curves at dangerous speeds.

But it wasn’t just the big things that I remember about my grandpa I also remember, how he was a “grumpy” old man. Whenever we had a family holiday he would come in to the kitchen and try and steal one of our plates so he didn’t have to make his own. How he didn’t like to sit at the table with us, he would rather sit on the couch with the TV. I always had to steal a hug because he never would have given me one, I knew that he liked it but he still pushed me away. When we would be leaving he would yell at us to get out of his house, not in a mean way. This may not sound good to you, but I couldn’t have imagined any other way to grow up. He wasn’t just my grandpa but he was my idol.
Sadly my most recent memory of my grandpa wasn’t a good one. About 3 years ago, we got the call at about six o’clock at night. It was from the hospital, I knew I wasn’t just an annoying appointment reminder we got all the time. I didn’t know what is was but I got a bad feeling so I took it to my mom, she answered the phone. As she was stirring our supper in the big kettle I watched her stir the spaghetti sauce, as the conversation went on her tone got softer and her stirring stopped. I knew it wasn’t good so I went and got my step dad in the living room. Before he could get up and go into the living room my mother came in crying, all she said is “I think we’re going to lose my father”

At that moment my step dad was up in motion. He turned off the stove and packed us all in our grey Saturn view. I was trying to be strong for my little brothers; they were eleven and three at the time. But I lost it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen my mother cry, let me just say it’s the saddest sight to see someone you care about so much cry. It was cold and dark, I felt closed in the car. Like there was no outside world anymore. The drive to the hospital took forever, everything was silent even the radio was off. This never happens in my car.

When we all made it to the hospital, I saw my grandmother sitting with a priest and a nurse. The nurse was trying to get my grandmother to eat something because she was shaking so bad. But the priest was praying and my grandmother was listening. My mother rushed over to my grandma. She multi tasked and tried to get my grandma to eat and was listening to the priest. Another nurse pulled my step father aside and told him that my grandpa had abdominal aneurism. They were flying him to Neenah. We missed him.
He was in the ICU so I wasn’t allowed back there because I wasn’t 18. But to be honest I didn’t want to see him with all the wires and looking like a broken doll. I want to remember him as the strong man he is. So I stayed in the family room a lot.
The rest of the two weeks passed in a blur. I remember spending a lot of time in the hospital, not so much in school. My great aunt, his sister flew in from California. My uncle, my mother’s brother flew in from Idaho. It was like a little family reunion. I just wish it wasn’t because of something so sad.

After two weeks of up and downs, he was finally on the up again. My attitude was on the up again. I kept saying to myself that I was going to get my grandpa back. Boy was I wrong. That’s when my mom came home crying. I knew it wasn’t good. She dropped her purse but the side door and came and sat down. When all of us sat by her, She gave us the news that changed my world. She said that my grandpa was brain dead, and that they were going to take him off life support the next day.

I cried on and off for days. I got a crazy attitude, I back talked to everyone. I just didn’t care anymore. I didn’t care what people thought about me. I got in fights with my closest friends. I wrote a lot, of really dark things. But whatever I did I still cried.

My grandpa happened to be the most important man in my life, and he was stolen from me. He was stolen from my brothers. My youngest brother didn’t have the chance to get to know my grandpa, didn’t get the chance to make the memories I had with him. I’m just glad that I had the chance to make memories with him that I did.



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