Monday, October 21, 2013
So, I know I haven't written in a long time. BUT. Its because work and school have been occupying my time. I have kept reading and I have also started writing more because of my creative writing class. I will post a list soon of all the books I've read the last two months. Its honest probably like 40 something books. YES. I know I have a problem. Anyways, If your really into what I read, go look me up on GoodReads, I tend to keep my currently read books more updated on there than I do on here. Anyways I thought maybe I'd post something I wrote for my creative writing class. I've been missing my two grandparents that both passed away earlier this year so when I got this assignment I chose to write about when I found out my Grandpa had terminal cancer. I'm pretty proud of this piece and its completely original. All Feedback if Welcome.
Try This 6.5 page 180
Recall an experience that changed you. Write about it with one of the traditional openings of a story…
-Once upon a time
-Long ago and far away
-In the beginning
-Let me tell you a story
-It all began
In the beginning there was fear. A fear so strong it paralyzed me. I couldn’t move, couldn’t speak, and couldn’t cry. I couldn’t even form coherent thoughts because of the terror that consumed me. I was taking completely off guard. One minute I was cheering on the Bruins at a playoff game, the next minute I got that phone call, and everything froze. The other emotions in me were frozen, and only fear was present. I felt a cold sweat quickly making its way up my back and goose bumps spreading up and down my arms. This was far worse than being punched in the gut or having the wind knocked out of you, this was like someone was taking away your air indefinitely and you being to shocked to even try to stop them. I knew the crowd around me was yelling, I saw people shouting and cheering, yet to me all I heard was silence. It was like everything around me stopped, even my vision was blurring around the edges. Someone walking in the row behind me sloshed beer onto my head and it forcefully snapped me back into reality. My hands were shaken and I struggled to control my breathing. I managed to glance up at the jumbo screen and notice there was four minutes left in the period. Four. I used to like the number four, but now I despise it. Four. Stage four.
In the beginning there was anger. Stage four cancer! How could this have happened? I wanted to yell, I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs, at god, at my dad, at the doctors, at anyone who crossed my path. My dad had called and given me that death sentence over the god damn telephone! Rage, wasn’t a strong enough word for how I was feeling. I wanted to hit someone and cause them harm. News like that shouldn’t be delivered while at a sporting event or over the phone. My hands clenched into fist, I could feel my blood starting to boil. How could doctors have missed that? Do people really go from being in tip top shape one day and the next day having stage four cancer? I wanted to tear everything apart because in my heart I knew the answer was NO. The doctors had to have messed up. I wanted people to hurt, I wanted people to suffer. Why does God make good people suffer? I wanted to fly into the sky and give him a piece of my mind. I wanted to turn my back on everything I believed in and continue down a war path of rage and destruction. I was so angry I didn’t even realize I was being towed along, back to my car in the parking garage. I knew I was to mad to drive, but I was the damn designated driver. That new realization enraged me even more, after news like that I needed a drink, a very strong drink. But no! I had to be the flipping good guy! I had to open my damn big mouth and volunteer to drive! So I got into the car. I knew I hadn’t said a word to my two friends since I answered that phone call, and I knew they were worried, but I couldn’t bring myself to say anything out loud. Saying it out loud made it too real.
In the beginning there was denial. If I didn’t tell them, if I didn’t say it out loud maybe it would go away. I remember thinking: “Maybe this isn’t even real, that’s got to be it, I had to be dreaming. Or better yet, the doctors got it wrong. Test results got messed up all the time, right? False positive, or whatever all that means. This all has got to just be a big awful mistake”. I realized I was merging onto the freeway and manage to shift my attention to my driving for the next thirty minutes. For the next thirty minutes I turned on my radio so loud, you would have thought your ear drums were going to burst. I needed to focus my thoughts onto something else, because if I could ignore them, the whole thing would go away. I just wanted to forget everything. As I was pulling into my driveway a song came on the radio about cancer. It brought everything that I had been forcing down, right back up to the surface. “There’s got to be something we can do right? We can fight it, right”? That was what I kept telling myself.
In the beginning there was hope. I remember hoping for a miracle. Those things happen sometimes, why not for my grandpa. I hoped for a drug, for a procedure, for a cure. I hoped for him to not be afraid. I hoped he wouldn’t be in pain. As the months went by I hoped he had made peace. I hoped he had time. I remember hoping the treatments would help. I remember hoping he wouldn’t be in pain when they didn’t. I hoped he would have more quality to his remaining life than quantity. I hoped I would be strong enough to help him through this. I hoped I would be able to hold things together for my nana, his wife of over fifty years. I hoped that she would be able to live through this and be okay. After a few months I hoped I would make it there in time. I flew on a plane to Florida to hold his hand until the end came. When I saw him when I first arrived, I hoped that he had a good life. I hoped that he was proud of the person I had become. I hoped he would recognize me and know who I was. By some small miracle, he said my name, and I rushed over to give him a hug and a kiss. I remember hoping that I wouldn’t cry in front of him. I hoped that when he did pass, that our deceased family members would be there to greet him, especially his son Chris. The hope that he would see Chris again, gave me a feeling that maybe things would be okay again, one day. I looked at my grandpa in his bed, he had fallen asleep from being so tired, and I was grateful because the first tear started to leak out and I knew there was no stopping what was coming.
In the end there was heartache. I walked out of his room, and out back onto the patio. I walked as far as the screen would let me and sat down on the concrete ground and cried. I felt my heart swell up and crack into a million tiny bits. I didn’t have the energy or the will to try and be quiet, or to hide my grief. I had tried to be strong and hold it in for too long and now the dam was cracked and everything was spilling out. I felt cold, even though the Florida air was humid. I felt alone, I felt helpless, and I felt broken. There were so many things I was supposed to do with him that now would never happen. He was supposed to be at my wedding, we were supposed to take a trip to all the WWII sites. My grandpa, the one who photographed my whole childhood would be gone. I cried over the loss of being robbed of all that. I cried over things that I knew would never happen. I thought of my childhood and cried about how great of a person he was. I thought about all the things he had done for people over the years. I thought of how many people admired and cared about him. He showed up to every single soccer game, without me even telling him I was playing, how did he do it? He always knew. Even when I was older, he still showed up and continued to support me. All of these memories and realizations made me cry even harder. I knew I had his unconditional love, no matter what I did, and that brought a whole new feeling of misery.
In the end there was regret. Every time I thought I was all cried out, I would think of something else and start all over again. All the things I wished I had done better invaded my mind. I wished I spent more time with him. I wished I came that Christmas they invited me. I wished I learned to play golf like he wanted. I wished I called him more. I would have traded anything in that moment to go back and do the things I knew he wanted. I knew, none of it mattered to him, but knowing that he would be gone and I could never fix my mistakes, left me feeling like a failure. I wanted so badly for him to see me succeed, like he always wanted me to. I knew he wouldn’t want me to act like this, and that realization allowed me to calm down enough to stop the tears. I slowly picked myself up and tried to pull myself together for my grandpa.
In the end there was booze. Over the next three weeks I tried to be strong enough for my nana, dad, and myself. I watched one of my favorite people slowly deteriorate into nothing. I sat in anguish and watched him get worse by the hour. Those three weeks were the longest yet, of my existence. We tried to make a rotation so he was never alone, but it took its toll on all three of us mentally. So we drank. I am not condoning our behavior, but sometimes when the sorrow got to be too strong, it was needed. We needed something to help us hold ourselves together and then allow us to fall apart. The booze helped us feel those emotions that we were trying to suppress. The booze helped us get things out. It wasn’t much but we grasped at it. On a bad day my nana and I would sit and split a bottle of wine, but those two glasses helped more than anyone could ever know.
In the end there was acceptance. In his last days I found myself wishing that he would pass quickly and peacefully. It was at the point, where he was comatose and I knew that the grandpa I knew and loved was already gone. I knew he was better off in heaven. He was so tired of trying to fight and I think he only fought so hard because of us. I didn’t want him in pain anymore. I didn’t want him to worry about us. I wanted what was best for him, despite my own personal feelings for him to stay. I accepted that I couldn’t go back in time and change anything. I accepted that he loved me and that I would always love him. I knew he would never be coming back. I accepted that I can’t control everything. I accepted that we shouldn’t take things or people for granted. I accepted that I had to say goodbye. Events like that make you realize how quickly things can change. I accepted that at any moment everything could come crashing down. I accepted that I should live my life to the fullest each and every day because tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. I know now that time sometimes is limited. When I finally allowed myself to come to these conclusions I felt better. I was able to say goodbye to my grandpa and not feel like I was going to die. I wanted to make the most of my life, for him. I allowed myself to mourn at his wake and funeral, but after that I wanted to make him proud. In the beginning I thought my world was going to end, but at the end I knew it had really just begun.
Yeah so that's all for now. Gotta go do MORE homework. Joy.