Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Writing Assignment From Mama Katt-My Last Moments With Granddaddy Lee

Mama Katt
has a great activity for all writers. I have enjoyed it immensly over the past couple of months. Please stop by and enjoy the fun.

The Prompts for this week:

1.) Discuss an intense game of Pictionary that you spent most of Saturday night arguing with your family about, only to log in to your email account two days later to find 35 emails between said family regarding aformentioned game and rules.

No can no play pictionary.

2.) Tell about a time you hurt somebody that still bothers you to this day.

I didn't even want to think through this one...if I have successfully repressed it, I don't want to revisit it.

3.) The one that got away....spill it.

The one I caught was a lot more fun to live and tell about.

4.) What inspired you? Write about a time when you were impassioned to write.


I was definitely inspired to write a piece last week of historical fiction on the anniversary of the Alamo. You can read it if you're into that stuff here.

5.) What happened in the last year? Write about something you can do now that you couldn't do a year ago.

Pick up literal pieces of shit without throwing up...and look at puke with some amount of interest. Not sure this is something anyone would want me to elaborate on.

6.) Write about the event that was the end of your childhood.

December 24, 1987, 10:30AM

At the time I was seventeen and living high on the hog as a senior in high school. I had been driving for well over a year and had a sort of conditional independence. Basically, what this means is that my driving was approved on the condition I didn't act like a fool. The eighties were in full swing, with big hair, jams, rolled up jeans (cavaricis anyone?), and Boston on the radio.

My life up to that point was making it through the week so I could play some sport on the, basketball, tennis...whatever the season was. I had the usual crushes and the unusual social awkwardness that accompanies the teenage years.

Then, in September 1987, my Grandfather was diagnosed with cancer.

My grandparents were the babysitters growing up. We knew them as well as we knew our parents. They took us to church, they cooked our meals, they lived a hundred yards away, they were the perfect and ideal grandparents. My grandfather falling ill with prostate cancer destroyed my young world. Now, my weekends were spent helping to take care of him and not trolling down main street in my beat up pickup truck honking and yelling at other morons my age. Does this sound incredibly shallow and selfish? Welcome to me age 17.

In my own stupor of what I was missing, I never really understood the pain my mom was going through as she watched her dad fade away before her eyes. I never noticed my Grandma go through the slow, painful loss of her husband of 60 years. Nope, all there was in my pea brain was a suppressed annoyance that my Grandfather was taking away weekends during my senior year that I would not get back.

So, it was on Thursday, Christmas Eve morning that I awoke and my grandparent's house. I had agreed to help watch Granddaddy on a non weekend for two reasons....okay really three. First of all, my parents and Grandma were beat. Granddaddy could do nothing by himself and Grandma at 103 pounds and 80 years old could not lift the 200 pound man by herself. So, someone had to be on hand to help. Secondly, it was a non school night. Thirdly, I had began to get it.

This time was not meant for me to run around like the others. No, God had given me this time to be there with Granddaddy..for Granddaddy. This man that was like my second dad was almost gone mentally and physically. This was life...not the pseudo life in halls of the high school...but the real life that somehow makes all your other 'activities' trivial and unimportant.

At 10:30, Christmas Eve, my Grandma yelled for me. I came in and Granddaddy's eyes were opened unnaturally wide and I heard a long breath escape his body. As I moved his arms, his limbs were not stiff but fluid and mobile. As my Grandma and I started some sort of emergency respiration, which to be honest we both didn't put our best effort in, (he would've never forgiven us if we'd brought him back) my granddaddy... Lee... died.

Funerals and Christmas never mix, but seem to go hand in hand as a part of my family's existence as I would find out years later. I wish I could say I remember all of the final moments that Granddaddy and I had, but the moments are few. I remember reading one of his final notes to me and my brother after he died that said something along the lines of "Integrity and honor are worth more than any material thing in this life." In his last days, he knew that he would be absent in our formative adult years. The years that would mold, break, and remake us would be without his wise guidance.

As I wandered aimlessly through that last semester of high school and four plus years of college, I knew that I would never look upon my life again in the same way. That moment where I saw death flash behind the eyes of a man that was very dear to me, let me know that life is fleeting...temporary.

Childhood for me ended at that point.



Amanda KP said...

wow!! thanks for sharing such a heartfelt post!!! i, too, lost my grandparents to cancer...NO FUN!!! i was thankful for every second i spent with them and truly wished i had been there for more--but, like you, was high school and college age during both of their battles and sometimes didn't make the mature decisions i wish i could go back and make now!! i was actually there when my gan-gan took her last breath and the peace that filled that room was unlike anything i had/have ever experienced!
thanks again for sharing!!!

Nikki B. said...

wow...great post!

Lissa said...

So beautiful and well written. Your words touched my heart in so many ways. Sorrow has been on my board as a teenager and as an adult. Now my children have to wade through the tall grass of grief trying to find their way as well.

April said...

Don't know quite what to say. That note he left you are great words to live by. Death of a loved one is never easy.

Anonymous said...

That was pretty intense. I can see why that was a turning point. What a wonderful not he left to you and even more wonderful that it had an effect on your life.

CornFedMama said...

wow. beautiful. Thank you for sharing that with us.

Leah said...

That fits right in with the post I'm planning to write about wisdom. We gain it as we go. Thanks for your openness.

NateAndJakesMom said...

That was very personal and I am sure, a little hard to write. Thank you for sharing - GrandDaddy would be proud.

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