Meeting Grandpa's Fairies
The events in this story are only a few years old so there still fresh in my mind. Sometimes they haunt me at night and sometimes they bring comfort, and sometimes reliving these memories make me want to scream, but all I can get out is a tight smile. Last year in the beginning of December a tragedy struck the family, my grandpa died. He had been sick for a long time. During the months of his sickness my mom was constantly in New Orleans, leaving me in the care of Kristi's family. The last time I saw him was last thanksgiving, when we went up to see him for what my mom told me would be the last time.
I hate long car rides, especially ones when you know that when you get to your destination nothing gets better. Have you had that feeling when you just want to get something over with, yet you were still anxious? That's what I was feeling right now as I was in the back of my mom's car on the way to see my grandpa. My mom had just made me turn down my cd player for the umpteenth time. It was barely playing yet she could still here it. "Are we there yet?" Asked the demon child next to me, and this was the reason for the music up being so loud I thought to myself. Well at least I thought I was thinking it to myself when my mom replied with don't use that kind of tone, and that we were about an hour away. That last comment wasn't helping, I now felt even more anxious then before. So with the knowledge of that the worst is on its way I fell asleep with my music playing softly in my ears. When I woke we were pulling into the parking lot of a hospital and then my fears became true.
I stood with my mom and sister at the front desk as my mom and the lady behind the counter were having a conversation under their breaths. In about five minutes of standing there my mom said lets go and we went past the counter to a hallway of elevators. The walls were all white with a bumpy texture, and when we got in the elevator it had the strong smell of puke. We got off a floor and started walking down a long deserted hallway, ending at a big wooden double door with a silver plat that read ICU. My mom pushed open the doors and we arrived at yet another set of doors, way to kill a moment full of suspense. My mom pushed open the second set of doors another room of white bumpy walls came into view. We walked over to a desk with an elderly lady sitting behind it. My mom asked for my grandpa's number and we were off again down another long hallway with single wooden doors on both sides of us, and large glass windows, from which you could see the patient inside. All had tubes of liquid flowing into their arms, and some tube of blood flowing out. I saw that some rooms had families dressed in scrubs surrounding there loved ones as they slept. After about the fourth door (which really felt like the thousandth) we came to a stop. Looking behind the glass window lay my grandpa. He had those same tubes with clear liquid flowing into one arm, and blood flowing out of another. We all stood there for a minute and watched him lying there; he seemed almost peaceful if it wasn't for the fact that there were tubes and needles coming from his withered body. We waited forever (only about ten minutes) till the doctor came; he said if we put on the scrubs we could go in. My mom turned to me. " Do you want to go in?" She asked. I wanted to I really did, I loved my grandpa so much, but instead I shook my head. I watched as my mom and sister put on the blue robe-like scrubs, gloves, and facemask and walked in the door. My mom went beside my grandpa and took his hand in hers. Immediately I was taken in with memories of my grandpa and me when I was younger.
I walked outside in the backyard to see my grandpa; he was swinging on the old porch swing. Even though it was kept in the middle of the yard and not the porch, he still calls it that. I went up and sat next to him, he was staring at the sky. "Whatcha lookin' at grandpa?" I asked, he replied with the clouds and I asked him why.
"Because their magical"
"How's that, their just white puffy things that float there"
"Well look at that one over there," he pointed at a big cloud in the sky and asked me what I thought it looked like. I told him it looked like a big puffy ball of white. He laughed at me. "No" he told me, really look at it, and I did. All of a sudden it changed as if a magic wand had touched it to make it transform. It became a giant castle, and the surrounding clouds became magical fairies that guarded it. I got very excited as I told my grandpa what I saw. He looked at me with amusement shining in his eyes, and asked me if I would like to go to the castle and meet the fairies that guarded it. I told him I really wanted to, and he laughed again. He started to move his legs and push us on the porch swing, and soon the swing lifted off the ground and took us soaring in the air towards the magical cloud castle, with its fairies. Together we flew around the castle a few times and I got to meet the fairies. But then as soon as we had gone we had to go back home as the sun was now starting to set. We flew back down to the back yard and once again watched the sky as darkness started to come. Even though he wasn't pushing with his feet the porch swing moved slowly, I think it were the fairies pushing us. Just as the final rays of the sum went down behind the small house my grandpa said we should go in now. So together with my hand clasped tightly around his we went back inside.
I was now brought back to the present day where everything wasn't as magical as before. My grandpa could no longer push us on that porch swing that sits in the back yard and we could no longer visit the castle with the fairies that guard it. Even though I know there were never any fairies, and there was no castle, and we couldn't really fly in the air it was fun to believe that we actually did those things did happen. My mom asked if I was ready to go, I hadn't even realized that she and Kristina had come out of the room. I replied that I was and followed them down the white hallway with bumpy walls again. That night my sleep was disturbed with those fairies from my childhood. The fairies were no longer nice, they were chasing me down the halls from the hospital, but there was no way out. No doors or windows on either side. We finally came to the end of the hallway with the fairies right behind me when I saw a door. I looked through the small glass window on the door and saw my grandpa lying asleep on his bed. I wasn't ready to face this so I turned around to the face the fairies that were now in front of me. They asked me why I wouldn't go see the man who showed me the magic, and I told them I didn't believe in magic anymore. They shook their heads at me and turned away, I called out to them asking how to get out but they left me.
A year has past but I still can remember the fact that I could never go into that dreadful room to see the man who showed me the magic. The week after thanksgiving my grandpa past away and yet I still couldn't cry. I just couldn't believe that he was gone, it seemed so unreal. Our magical porch swing had died a few months ago; Hurricane Katrina took it away with most of his possessions. I regret not being able to say goodbye, but I figure I didn't need to say goodbye, because someday we'll meet again and we can swing on a new porch swing together.