I was in my math class, enjoying solving the problems that my teacher was giving, when she told me to pick up my bag and follow her. I hastened to obey her. In the visitors lounge, I saw my mother waiting for me. Her eyes were red, and I could see she had been crying.
As I sat in the back seat, I did not know what was troubling my mother. Twenty minutes later, we parked at the basement of St. John’s Hospital. I had been here only once before today, and that was 12 years ago, when I came into the world. We took the elevator 10 floors up, and there I saw that my family had gathered already. My mother’s side of the family…
I went to my Cousin Janie’s side and we stood holding each others hands. Mom went into a room and we both followed her. Peeping into the room, I saw a doctor sitting on a chair, talking to an old man, who was lying down and breathing very heavily.
My grandfather looked different today. His hair had receded, and his eyes did not have that friendly glint in it. They invited me to come and talk to him usually, but today they had very less life in them. I felt lost in that room. Janie and I took up the stools on the other side of his bed. I did not think he would recognize us at all, but his left hand moved toward us and we clasped it. Mom was almost about to burst into tears.
Some time later, I heard raised voices coming from the hallway. Leaving Janie to keep Grandpa company, I snuck out into the hall. I heard my dad and my uncle arguing. Mom was crying again but she was the only one doing so. My aunt was also arguing. From the words I caught, it was about Grandpa’s property and who was to get what. The elevator door opened and Janie’s mom stepped out. Aghast at the scene, she joined my mom and started comforting her. I silently started walking back toward the room.
I heard muffled cries coming from afar, and I saw nurses rushing into the room. I ran as fast as my legs would take me. I stood in the doorway, and Janie rushed and hugged me. I could feel her tears slowly wetting my shoulder. Giving a muffled sob, we both sat on the bench outside the room. I saw my two aunts, uncle, mom and dad entering the room.
Later, only Janie’s mother and Mom stayed in the room. My dad, uncle and the other aunt came out teary eyed. I could not bear it. I yelled, “What you are crying for? God took only Gramps away to Heaven, his property is still on Earth.” Then I took Janie’s hand and walked inside the room. We stood at the door again. The nurse had covered Grandpa’s face with the blanket, but Janie and I could see his face.
His happy grin, the friendly glint in his eyes, the warmth in his heart… We could see a silver silhouette near the window, looking toward us, and waving to us goodbye as he glided off into the sunset.
Crossposted at Conjuring Kreativity
Submitted to Tell-a-Tale