There is this incredible door, the door into my Grandparents house. It was a storm door, then of course a wooden door with one square window. The memories I have that include that door.
I am a little girl, in someone’s arms, we are following Papa towed the door. It’s dark outside. I don’t know who is holding me, but I was safe. Papa turns around and looks at the person holding me and says something. I am not sure but it was a serious conversation. And I did not take my eyes off of Papa!
Days passed and maybe we had visited I don’t know but my next memory is visiting Grandpa and Grandmas house. Here we come bounding in. And Papa was not in his chair! Grandma was in the bedroom right by the living room. Things were weird! They said I could go in, I could see his face. He was in bed, he looked sad and tired. When I got in there I couldn’t stand the smell! I had to leave it was to bad. I was so sad I couldn’t see my papa cause I would throw up. I don’t know what that smell is papa never smelled like that.
Time passed and we were going to see Grandma and Grandpa again. I hope papa was better! We got in the car and we were going the wrong way. Driving and driving until after dark! Mom wouldn’t tell us where we were going. No one would tell us anything. ” do less and see more” come on? What is happening, Jr my big brother and I sat in the back seat talking about it trying to figure it out. But we didn’t know anything!
We finally pulled into this crazy brick building and it was so cold outside. If my memory serves me right. And we all went in this long empty hall. Somehow there was a nurse to help us. I’m telling you this hall was forever! And empty!!! So sad and lonely and all of a sudden there was Papa in his wheelchair coming down the hall. He had a nurse pushing him and tubes all over him. He looked weak and small. So sad, until he saw us then he smiled! I took Jrs hand and he gave mine a squeeze and we started singing songs we had been practicing at church for Christmas. Papa laughed and loved it so we sang more. I was so sad and scared I didn’t know how to touch papa with out hurting him.
That was the last time I saw him alive…..I do not know the time span of this illness that took my most favorite person on earth, that broke my heart in so many pieces. But it seemed fast and forever. Because he was gone so fast but my heart breaks forever.
Jr screamed out in the night, PAPA! Mom and dad came running. The phone rang, something is wrong but they won’t say it in front of us. They are taking us to their friends. The hairdressers house. Why won’t they tell us. Something is wrong! I don’t like this at all.
Later I was there at a church and I saw papa sleeping in a box. I gave him a rose bud, I was his rose bud. He didn’t smell, and no more tubes, wheelchairs, nurses, or hospitals. Papa must be all better. We all sat down in a pew, Mom, me, jr, Dad. These guys just carried a big box down the isle. Dad what is that……,, PAPA (I just saw a tear fall from my dads face for the first time in my life). Papa?Papa? Wait? Stop that is papas bed!
My mom scooped me up and took me to the nursery where I could watch through the glass, that I pressed my little face against crying for my papa through the entire funeral. I vomited and cried continually. No one had thought to tell the 4 yr old little girl that her papa was sick and dying. No one had thought to explain it to me. I was left to figure it out myself. To then grieve in shock with people standing by and stairing watching as my heart was breaking inside my chest. Even receiving spankings as an action to force me to get my grieving under control.
Through my life my hands touched that door many times. If I could I would have that door now. But I have the memories of it nonetheless.