Paw Paw

October 21, 2011
By jcopaken BRONZE, Mission Hills, Kansas
jcopaken BRONZE, Mission Hills, Kansas
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

I was walking to the back parking lot on a mild late November day, my normal, daily routine, with a slight winter wind blowing on my face. As I entered the back parking lot, Drake Miller told me that his mom was giving me a ride home, and I had no idea why. As I reached my house, I slowly walked up to my garage. I entered my garage door code then opened the door to my house. Right as I opened the door, I knew something was wrong. I heard my sister crying right as I opened the door. I ran over to the couch that she was laying on with the noise of screeching wood under my feet. As I reached her, I asked what is wrong, and she said: “Paw Paw died.” Paw Paw was my grandfather who had been fighting against cancer for the past five years. I swear my heart stopped. I had nothing to say. The only thing I could think of doing was plunging into a couch to cry. My mom was gone with my grandmother. My dad was on the phone talking to my mom’s sister who lives in San Diego.
While I was laying down in the couch I could not believe that Paw Paw had passed away. I started thinking about all of the great memories I had with him. The memory that I kept thinking about was when we were at a spring training baseball game in Florida. While we were there on a hot summer day, there was a foul ball hit straight into the sky. As I looked up at it, the ball disappeared into the sun then I slowly saw it come down heading directly at us. Paw Paw with his bare hand reached up and caught the ball. Most people when they catch a ball hold it up or something like that, but Paw Paw simply just handed the ball over to me like it was no big deal. Another memory that came into my mind while i was laying on the couch was how Paw Paw called flamingos: “pink chicken”. Paw Paw and my grandmother used to have a house in Naples, Florida. When Paw Paw saw a flamingo in Florida he would always call it a pink chicken. I am not sure why he called them pink chickens. So one day when it was his 70th birthday, we put 70 plastic “pink chickens” in his yard. It just did not seem real that he was gone. How could it be? It was not fair.
Next was the decision if Paw Paw should be buried in his home city Indianapolis or Kansas City where he had spent his adulthood. My grandmother decided that Paw Paw should be buried in Kansas City in a very small cemetery in cornth. My aunt and uncle and cousins would come in from Phoenix. Next was the funeral. It would be held on December 2 at 9:30 a.m. A limo would pick us up at 9:00, and drive us to the cemetery. We arrived at my grandmas house at 8:30 a.m. We shared all of our memories we had with Paw Paw. Right as the clock ticked nine we heard a car pull into the driveway. All of my family opened the front door and stepped outside. As I stepped outside, I could easily see my breath. The sun was shining through the trees with the scattering sunlight in my face. All eleven of us squeezed into the limo and sat down. As I looked outside I could see the smoke coming of the exhaust pipes of cars. It was really cold. The ride to the cemetery was quiet with little speaking, most people still in disbelief. As we pulled into the cemetery I heard the gravel under the tires. We got out of the limo and I could see frost on the grass which was reflecting in the sunlight. Next we walked to our chairs under a tent where the funeral would be held. There was only about twenty people there, just for family members. It immediately began as I sat down. The priest began to speak about Paw Paw and say nice thoughts. He even mentioned what I told him about when he caught the foul ball and handed it over to me. Now I could see the sun peeking over the trees shining into my face, and the frost began to go away. As the funeral was ending, my grandmother gave all of us flowers to put on his coffin. The funeral had ended and we each put a flower on Paw Paw’s coffin. The funeral was short and simple just as Paw Paw would have liked it to be. As we put the flowers on Paw Paw’s coffin, that was when it really hit me that he was gone. I started to think about all of the great memories we had together. It brought tears to my eyes. How could it be? How could he be gone?

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