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The sky was grey, the temperature had dropped. That was unusual, yesterday it was hot. My mom told me it was just bipolar Florida weather. I still couldn’t shake the feeling off that something was wrong. During first period (I can’t remember if it was an A or B day) I couldn’t focus. I stared into space the whole class period. When the bell rung for second period I was sort of happy. My next class was creative writing. I was free to write about anything. He’s the reason I’m at LaVilla. My granddaddy Jimmie pushed me to write. He told me to put all of my pain and heartache on the paper and turn it in to something great.
My granddaddy pushed all his grandchildren. He pushed Ke’Yondra and my big brother to play basketball, and me to write. He noticed I’m different, sports weren’t my thing, and music wasn’t my strong suit. So that day I wrote a poem, telling him it’s okay to go. But he never got the chance to read it.
That night, while my mom and I was watching Scandal my Nana called. My heartbeat sped up because Nana never called us at 10pm. I knew something was wrong. I tried to read my mom’s face, her hard look turned soft and remorseful. “Okay, were on the way.” My mom said hanging up the phone. I got up and started to joke around. “Well good thing the episode is almost over, and we have OnDemand” I joked putting on my coat and boots. While we were in the car, my mom was quiet, me too. I stared out of the window and admired the fast-moving lights. I noticed my mom looking at me every time we stopped.
As we got closer to my Nana house I started shaking. “It’s okay to cry.” My mom said placing her hand up top of mine. When I walked into the house I saw Ke’Yondra sitting on the couch crying.
My nana escorted me to the room where my granddaddy was. The atmosphere felt light. The room was blue. There was one little lamp lighting up the whole room. Granddaddy Jimmie was laying in the bed, hooked up to oxygen. His skin paler than before. He looked so fragile. I was afraid to go near him. As I walked on the side of the bed, tears filled my eyes. “I love you granddaddy, and it okay for you to go now.” I whispered into his ear. He tried to respond but he couldn’t get the words out. Once I kissed him on the cheek I left the room. I couldn’t take it anymore. The image of him laying in bed lifeless still plays in my head. I sat on the couch next to my cousin, who was boo-hoo crying. I couldn’t comfort her, I didn’t know what was going on with myself.
I felt empty. My tears dried up and no more would fall. I tried hard to make myself cry, but nothing. I started thinking about all the time we spent together. Which wasn’t a lot. He was always busy smoking.
I remember when I was younger, my granddaddy formed a band with my cousin and I. He taught us how to play the guitar. The task was more complicated for me. I was left handed, and learning the right-handed way wasn’t working out for me. So, my granddaddy made me the background singer instead, Keke was the lead singer. (I still don’t know why. I sounded way better.) Our little band would perform in the garage in front of the whole neighborhood and his band mates. When we were done preforming, granddaddy and his band would perform. My favorite song was, and still is, My Girl by the Temptations. Granddaddy was so smooth with his guitar. I admired his skills, and hoped to be the female version of him one day.
On Saturday’s, not every Saturday but once in a blue moon, all the grandchildren would spend the night at Nana house. We would pop popcorn in this old fashion machine, they would always end up burnt, and listen to granddaddy stories about the war. Ke’Yondra and I would be up under an itchy crocheted cover Nana made. We would fall asleep outside on porch. The smell of cigs became normal to us, calming, and the calmness of the soft winds that would come though the screen would put me to sleep along with his voice.
We would wake up on Saturday morning and cook breakfast with granddaddy. We always made bacon and eggs, sometimes pancakes, that was the easiest thing to make for us. The faster we ate the faster we could get our day started. Our days always consist of “driving”, band practice, baking, and watching movies.
When it was my turn to drive I would sit on granddaddy’s lap, he would press the gas and I would control the wheel. Thank God, we never crashed, lol, I was a horrible driver, I still am. We would just drive up and down the street and maybe to the store up the street. Nana would always fuss at him for letting us “drive”.
When we would get home we would bake cookies, that never lasted till the movie started. Our favorite movie was house party. House party is so old granddaddy had it on VHS.
As I was sitting there, one tear rolled down my face. My dad missed it. He didn’t get to say his final goodbye, neither did Devon. I felt bad that I was sitting there being ungrateful, and his own son didn’t get the chance to say goodbye to him.
The next day, I stayed home from school. I laid in bed, empty. The air felt heavy on my body. It didn’t feel like my granddaddy was gone.
When I went back to Nana house everything felt different. It was gloomy and quiet. But everybody made it feel like granddaddy didn’t just die in this house a few hours ago. Nobody was crying, yet nobody was laughing. It was an uneasy feeling.
At the funeral, it wasn’t a sad event. Instead it was a reunion. Everybody came together to burry him, and enjoy his patriotic flag to thank him for serving our country. We waved around baby blue ribbons in honor of him. After his body was under the ground, the sun came out to play. A drizzle of rain tickled our nose, as we began to play. What was supposed to be a sad event, turned out to be so beautiful.
Christmas came around again. Nothing was the same. We usually have a Christmas party on Christmas eve. Our last party was so magical. Granddaddy played everybody’s favorite Christmas song and played the guitar. My favorite song was, still is, Gee Whiz its Christmas, I song along with him. We drunk champagne and made a gingerbread, which wouldn’t stand up.
Christmas without granddaddy is a bore. He was the life of the party. Now instead of having a Christmas party, I just go pick up my gifts and leave. It’s been two years since my granddaddy grew his angel wings. At first, I blamed my religion for his death, but now that I’m older I understand it was his fault. It was his choice to pick up his first cig, and it was his choice to keep smoking. But it was also time for a change in our life. We were getting to comfortable. There’s only one thing I wish I could say to my granddaddy today. When he grew his wings, I grew mine too. And now it’s my time to fly.