Becoming a grandparent makes getting older something to look forward to - all the fun of parenting, without the hassle.
Memories Soon to Be Forgotten
On the 21st of December, as I rushed out the front doors of my now deserted dormitory, army duffle of laundry slung over my shoulders, the cold Milwaukee slush sloshing beneath my boots, into my family's old Saturn Vue to catch a ride home for Christmas Break, the last thing on my mind was the possibility that I might lose a loved one. Less than 24 hours later, Ernie Varga went into cardiac arrest for the final time as I drove that same car at unsafe speeds towards Rockford in an attempt to see him before his passing. I didn't make it. The next few days register in my memory like some kind of stereo cassette tape where periodically the right or left channel simply cuts out. I can remember bursts of memory in fine clear detail, the tick of the clock on Ehorn-Adams funeral home wall, the way the mortician's hands moved over the paperwork, the colors of every casket along that wall and their prices. There are other moments in which I hardly remember any sensory input, just emotion, a sort of unstable feeling, as though I'd been standing on a floor which simply ceased to exist, only to reveal another floor an inch or so below it.
They tell me that war changes men, makes them wild. That's only the weak ones, though. He was sad when it was unavoidable, happy when it was ended. A lifetime of harsh realities, defeated by laughter. Memories depart quickly, but I always feel at home there.
The Beginning... It all started years before I was ever thought of... Cancer decided to make an unwelcome visit to our family.
At the young age of 26, I am a survivor. A survivor or many things such as cancer, life, and daily struggles just to get by. The past 4 years I have been surviving life. Barely getting by, and struggling to what seems like no end in sight. I lost my great grandma about four years ago and this year August 2017, I lost my grandma.
'Brian, Santa is Coming to Town' - Christmas Story
On Christmas Eve, Honey and Brian were sitting on the sofa by the log stove in the cottage, waiting for his uncle and aunt to come home from walking the dogs, as they loved the snow more than Brian did. He was not even sure why or he couldn’t remember why the reason was. His uncle always knew why, but he didn’t want to remind him of it, especially when he just came out of the hospital from the attack the other day. He was kind enough to Brian that he took Scout out for his walk with his wife and their two husky dogs; Scout didn’t want to leave Brian more and more often since the accident. He was guarding him from everything and everyone but Brian reassured him that he’d be safe when he came home.
Leprechauns Are Real
I was in third grade. I was having a great debate amongst friends. "Leprechauns are real!" I shouted. My grandma told me so. She was a sweet little lady from Ireland. Ginger hair and I just knew she had a house full of gold treasure!
I walked in from work sweaty and tired, covered in paint, dirt, and little kid hand prints all over. Working at day camp over the summer was a great experience, but I was always drained by the three-year-olds in my group. Walking up the stairs of my house, I felt as if something was wrong. Usually, it’s loud between my two siblings, dogs, television, and the sounds of Mom cooking in the kitchen. Today, it was silent. My parents and siblings sat on the couches, looking up at me with glossy eyes.
I remember hearing Papo was going back to the hospital for a new test or surgery. Being young, I didn’t think much of it. I had gone to the hospital many times for various reasons myself, so I didn’t know the hospital meant that something was wrong. I only saw Papo twice a year since he lived three states away from me, but every time I saw him, I could tell he was getting worse. Fewer jokes, fewer smiles, less attitude, less of Papo being who he was.
Healing from a Toxic Grandparent
My grandma has raised me for nearly 11 years, which is almost my whole life. But the one thing she did for years that I finally confessed to my mother was lead me down the path of hating myself. Every day, I struggle with finding happiness within my own skin and many of the beauties behind the flaws in my own body.
Shelves span the length of my bedroom concealing the grey of wall, thick with leaning books and mismatched baskets. My clothes reach out, stretching like cotton arms toward carpet. Resting above this organized chaos, two large cork-boards brim with photos. I think of the pinned pictures as recent, although they arenʼt anymore, and I know a slightly younger version of me looks out. Itʼs the face of a white-blonde boy, my brother, revealing how much time has passed—braces have now corrected his crooked grin, flat hair replaced with untamed curls.
The Day My Grandpa Left...
Kendrick Campbell I remember every other weekend you would pick me up from my house and always tease me about taking forever. When I would climb in the backseat you would hand me a bag of candy. You always knew my favorite. We would sing songs all the way down to Riverdale Road. You would show me the "shortcut" way to skip out on the nasty traffic into I-15.
October 31st 2016 changed my life forever. I was at work getting ready for the activities that would follow. My grandchildren were coming for trick or treat at my work. Everyone in my office was excited.