Memories have never been my thing. They tend to go like this: something amazing happens to me, I bask in the glory of the moment, and it’s a blurry mess within 4 days.
However, there are some exceptions to my general “I don’t have any memories rule”. My childhood is where most of my existing memories take place, and you can’t have my childhood without my grandfather.
Him laying me down on the old green futon.
Grabbing my chunky baby legs
And pulling them back and forth.
Going faster and faster.
His face lighting up like a Christmas tree
As I shrieked with laughter.
Him taking my sticky toddler hands.
Holding them tightly in his own callused ones.
The smell of the April morning fresh in my nose.
His finger slightly shaking as he pointed out the nearest Easter egg
Nestled in the emerald green grass.
Running back and forth from toy room to living room.
Piling every stuffed animal I could find on top of him.
Never once did a complaint slip through his chapped lips
Even though he could barely breathe.
Smoothing my pink flowered dress as I stood.
Gripping onto my mother’s hand like my life depended on it.
Cowering behind her as we walked up the aisle.
Him beaming at me from next to his bride.
His eyes saying a silent thank you.
Sitting at the old yellow counter.
Knees knocking against each other in excitement.
Him carrying my 8th birthday cake.
Putting it down in front of me.
Wishing me a happy birthday and many more.
His eyes twinkling with sadness and pride
As I blew out my sparkling candles.
Making the 2 ½ hour drive every weekend to his house
Back and forth
Back and forth
Until even Strawberry Shortcake
Couldn’t take away my boredom
Sitting on his patchwork couch.
Wondering why we suddenly came here so much
When we barely used to
And why he could never recall what I told him.
Jumping out of the car the second my father turned it off.
Running up the steps and through the front door.
The screen slamming shut behind me.
Practically bursting with excitement as I ran toward him.
Opening my mouth to tell him what I could do now.
Until my mother stopped me.
Told me we couldn’t show him my monkey bar tricks at the park.
Because he was too sick.
But maybe next time we could.
Maybe next time we could go to my favorite restaurant.
Walk the beach.
Look at his old apartment.
But there was no next time.