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Stepping In Someone Else's Shoes Unknowingly

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I can always remember having a pen in my hand, and drawing and writing endlessly until I felt the little vein on the back of my hand pop up telling me I should take a break. I disciplined my wrist to curve more, and draw straighter strengthening my fingers. Sometimes I would draw until I felt my fingers start to ache and burn and scream for me to stop, I never thought that the reason for my passion for drawing came from someone in my family. My great grandmother K always liked to sketch and draw. Time and time again every Easter my grandmother and I would drive down to Long Island in order to visit her side of the family. Grandma K would always have her hands folded neatly on her skinny stomach and her frail bent fingers would always stay still. She always kept to herself.

I remember she adjusted her round glasses and cautiously leaned over my shoulder one day while I was drawing, he mouth slightly fell open and she nodded. When I turned to ask her why she was staring so intently at me she answered so softly, "I didn't know that someone other than myself liked to draw." I smiled lightly and glanced back down at my paper finishing up my work. I never thought much about grandma K's background before, I never thought to ask for the sake of being polite.

One day she was in her room, I heard her restless movement through the wooden thin door and just assumed she was flipping through old albums and recalling memories. Dismissively I sat down, turned on the television and watched as she pushed her walker into the living room and the tray that was connected to the walker was full of thick old crusty papers. She weakly sat next to me and pulled the mile high papers on her weak knees and pushed them in my lap. I glanced at her soft warm eyes and then at the papers with a questionable look and found my eyes sudden widen. Drawings, sketches, oil paintings, pastel drawings, paintings in general, and human anatomy sketches. They were wonderful, and so detailed. Grandma K looked at me and weakly smiled and pointed to a picture of a woman standing and slightly leaning on a railing with what looked like an old fashioned hat with a feather pinned on the side of it. She spoke, "When I was your age, I loved to draw, just like you. But, back then, someone would stand in the middle of our class and we would sketch them, we had to sketch everything that would be placed in the center of the class room whether it be fruit, or a pair of old crooked glasses with a crack in one of the lens, or even," she stopped and chuckled softly. I looked at grandma K awaiting her answer and she smiled giggling like a young woman again she said, "Or even a young handsome man naked." I giggled with her and asked her why they had to draw people like that and her answer was soft spoken, and she slung her small cold arm around my warm round shoulder and shut her eyes recalling.
"Well we had to learn about the human body at that time, I suppose specifically for that college. Unlike you, where, you draw more of the pictures on the t.v that is animated, I loved to sketch, and that's what we sketched."
Until that day, I never knew I had such a blessed gift that was passed to me. I nodded and held the drawings close to my chest and listened as she told me to 'keep them' and I watched her close her eyes and snore softly. Since that day, I was always proud to draw, and hoped to live up to my grandmother K's reputation.





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