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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Death · #2243964
About a boy dealing with troubling times in his life.
Gleason 10

Certification of Authorship Page

                             Use the                              following as your title page for each paper you submit for a                              grade.                              
FERRIS                              STATE UNIVERSITY

                             Course                              Number and Title:                              English 222
                             Submitted                              to:                              Dr. Deirdre Fagan
                             Submitted                              by: Alexander Gleason                              
                             Date                              of Submission: 2/12/20
                             CERTIFICATION                              OF AUTHORSHIP: I certify that I am the author of this paper                              and that any assistance I received in its preparation is fully                              acknowledged and disclosed in the paper. I have also cited any                              sources from which I used data, ideas, or words, either quoted                              directly or paraphrased. I also certify that this paper was                              prepared by me specifically for this course.                              
                             Student's Signature: Alexander                              Gleason________________

Alexander Gleason

My father's tears

         I stood there in the living room awe struck by what my father had just said. Getting a divorce? It seemed almost out of nowhere, at first I thought it may have been a bad joke of some kind, until I saw a tear coming from my father's eye. A man who never cried in fear of seeming weak, tearing up before my eyes. I looked over at my sister to find she was crying as well, and I could feel the pain in my throat. I tried to keep my own tears down as I sat down next to my sister to console her while my mother spoke, trying to explain why they were separating, with tears in her eyes as well. Hearing her words, but not quite listening, as if it was coming from a distance. My brother, whom was farther back, sat listening to what my mother had to say seeming fine. I wondered whether he was trying to stay strong for everyone else, like I was, or whether he had expected this to happen. I then took turns hugging everyone in the room and asking if they were ok, in turn getting the same question. "Are you ok?" I replied yes, but I wasn't really sure how I felt. I always thought that once you got married to someone you spent the rest of your life with them, so to think that your husband or wife could not love you anymore out of nowhere scared me. What if I got married and I was happy all the time then out of nowhere my wife said that she was not in love with me anymore. I couldn't imagine how horrible that would feel. The divorce wasn't even the worst part because I knew that in the long run both my parents would be happier. The worst part was watching a strong man like my father, whom I've never seen cry, shed a tear down his cheek.
A Death in the Family

         It was mid-October when I got the call at 8:00 at night. I knew something was wrong. My father told me that my mother would be coming down as soon as possible to pick my siblings and I up from collage so we could say our goodbyes, because my grandfather didn't have much longer to live. You see my grandfather was diagnosed with Leukemia a couple of months before, so we knew he was very sick and was probably going to pass away relatively soon, but I had never thought it would be this soon. On the Two and a half hour drive home squished in between my brother and sister, I thought about all the things to come the next day.
         I woke up the next morning around 10:00 a.m., tired and drowsy, stretching my arms as I let out a silent yawn. I then got out of bed, put on some fresh clothes, and walked out into the living room. I stood there for a moment, yawning one last time before walking out the door and across the street to my grandmother's house.
         I walked in to find everyone there. My aunts and uncles, some of my cousins, my father, and my siblings. I mean why wouldn't everyone be here with this possibly being my grandfather's last day on earth, and yet I was still a little surprised to see all of them. My grandfather was in his bedroom down the hall laying down comfortably with my grandmother sitting beside him. Everyone else was in the living room, sitting and chatting. As bad as the situation was I couldn't help feeling a little happy to see everyone. Slowly as the day went on we took turns going to visit my grandfather. When it got to my turn I got up feeling a little nervous not knowing what to expect. The little bit of hallway seemed like it went on forever, until I finally reached his bedroom door, my father's hand on my shoulder along the way. As I peered into the room I saw my grandmother next to him holding his hand, then I saw my grandfather. He was lying in his bed with a breathing thing on his mouth and needles in his arms, looking sleepy like anytime now he could just fall asleep. We talked for a little bit, can't remember what exactly was said, mostly just about school, as if it was just a normal day and I had just come for a visit. Then I left walking again down the hallway, this time it not feeling so long.
         As the night went on our family talked and slowly people were starting to go to bed. Eventually it was only my father, my cousin Ashley, and me. The three of us sat in the kitchen talking about random things, none of us being able to sleep. One of the topics was ghosts and if they were real. During this we shared ghost stories, some creepy, some nice. That night deep down I hoped ghosts and heaven were real so that my grandfather would have nice place in heaven waiting for him. Then around 2 a.m. my aunt Tammy, who was a nurse and spent most of the day looking over my grandfather, came into the kitchen crying and I knew what had happened. As she said he had passed the three of us all got up to wake the others. After waking my siblings, everyone exchanged hugs and some tears. I knew at the time I had to stay strong not only for my siblings but for my father who had just lost his father. I couldn't imagine what he was going through. He was always strong for me now it was my time to be strong for him. My father came around asking if my siblings and I were ok, and we all said yes. Then I asked if he was ok and he said the same. Even though deep down I knew he wasn't. I then pulled him aside and said "I know you want to be strong for us but that you don't have to be, if you need to talk or cry or anything at all I'm here for you. You don't need to be strong for me." He replied "ok" and "thanks" but that was all. After that he called our mom and I called my girlfriend. I knew she was asleep because it was late but I needed her. When she answered and I told her he had passed I couldn't help but shed some tears. She said she was on her way and I wiped my tears away, heading back to the living room where we all sat silently.
         Finally, after what seemed like forever, my girlfriend came in. I hugged her as she shared her sympathies with everyone and sat down. I sat my head on her lap and she ran her fingers through my hair, I could feel myself drifting off into sleep.
         The next couple of days were very busy as we all got ready for the funeral. All of us spending the next few nights at my grandmother's so she wouldn't be alone. I remember being in my dad's closet, looking for something nice to wear to the funeral. Then I went into the living room to find my father with a brown bag in his hand. He handed it to me and said "your grandfather wanted you to have these." I took the bag from him a little confused. You see, I wasn't super close to my grandfather, I mean we had a fine relationship, he just wasn't a very talkative person, so I was surprised when my father handed me this bag filled with something my grandfather wanted me to have specifically. I opened it up to find some old collectable coins. "He figured you could save them and maybe they'd be worth something one day" my father explained. As confused as I was that my grandfather chose me to give the coins to I was glad to have something that connected me to him.
         The funeral was as you'd expect, a church filled with his loved ones. Friends and family all gathered to mourn and be there for one another. The priest spoke as we all sat in silence holding each other's hands. My mother was there for my father, even though they were no longer together she was there to help him through this hard time, and to help my siblings and I as well. I sat there staring at the priest, watching his mouth move and hearing his voice, but not what he was saying. It's like I went blank, not listening or thinking, just in a state of sadness and disbelief that my grandfather was gone. I could feel my girlfriend's hand in mine and thought about how lucky I was to have her there with me and how lost I would've been without her.
         During the burial we all stood around the place where my grandfather would be buried as rain dropped on us from the sky. I could remember how fitting it was to have the rain and glad that it helped mask my tears. The priest spoke and we all listened as we took turns taking a shovel and filling the hole with dirt. I stood there hoping that my grandfather was in a better place now. I had one hand in my pocket holding one of the coins, thinking as the crowd begin to dissipate. After a while there was only a few of us standing there. As everyone except my girlfriend and I started to leave my father asked if I was ok. I looked at him and said, "Yeah just give me a minute". Then it was only my girlfriend and I, standing in the rain. I turned the coin in my hand as I stood there staring at the grave. I then bent down and stuck the coin in the dirt, knowing it was the right thing to do. Then I got up and hugged my girlfriend, tears streaming down my face. As my girlfriend was holding me and I her, I knew everything would be ok.


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