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Memories of My Grandfather

My paternal grandfather passed away when I was only five years old, but he made such an impact on me in those five years.

My grandparents from both sides of my family all lived in the same small Texas town until my grandfather passed. We only lived a few hours away from them, so we got to visit for some holidays and summer breaks. While my mother’s parents lived on a farm, my father’s parents lived in a two-story house in a small neighborhood down the street. They really didn’t live that far away from each other, but at that young age, it seemed like two different worlds to me.

I can still remember the layout of their house. We would park in the driveway and enter in the side door. There was a large window with shelves and plants as we entered the house and walked toward the kitchen. I can smell the bananas that were always on the counter and my grandmother’s hand oil that was nearby. After the kitchen and breakfast nook, we would walk through a large dining room and to some French doors that led to the den. My grandparents would always be in the den. I would have so much excitment building up as we made our way to the den. I couldn’t wait to hug my grandfather. I never had a good relationship with my paternal grandmother, but my grandfather always made up for that. He was my buffer.

The house was so much fun to explore. I remember the green carpet and the stairs that I would climb up and scoot back down. There was a bedroom upstairs that used to be my dad’s. Now, it was a storage room where I could find so many fun things to play with. There were baby dolls, an old typewriter and other things I had never seen before.

One of my favorite parts of the house though, was a closet under the stairs. That closet is where my grandparents kept jars of vegetables they canned from their garden. I loved to eat the canned tomatoes and my grandfather would always get a jar out for me. The tomatoes still seemed so fresh; I can still taste them. I loved going to that closet with my grandfather. When he pulled the light string, I would just look around at the jars in awe.

I can remember my grandfather being out by his car, tinkering around. I would go looking for him to see what he was doing. He would talk to me, and he was always so kind. I don’t remember much about our conversations; I just remember that he always made me feel special. I felt like he was genuinely interested in what we were talking about.

One of my favorite memories is walking with my grandfather to the convenience store that was behind their house. We would walk through a field to get there. Back then, I thought it was such a long walk, but I recently saw the distance and it wasn’t that far. My little legs just saw it in a much different way. Anyway, once we got to the convenience store, my grandfather would let me pick out any kind of candy I wanted. I always loved that my grandfather knew everyone who was there. He would stop to talk and gush about his granddaughters. I don’t know why that meant so much to me, but I enjoyed being a part of his world.

I try to focus on those great memories when I think about my grandfather, but I will never forget the day I learned of his passing. I was playing outside when my dad got the call. After he told me, I cried and screamed. I just couldn’t understand why such a good person could be taken away. He was my favorite adult, and I didn’t know what I would do without him in my life.

I’ve always felt like he watches over me though. Even though he was only present in my life for such a short time, his love for me has gotten me through so much. He will forever be my favorite adult.



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