We had to write a narrative in english, about..anything, really. Just thought I would share it with you. I really had to keep myself from crying while writing this, since, I have never really gotten in such detail about this part of my life before.
The Order of the Phoenix
One of the most difficult things to do is watch the person you love die. It happened right before my eyes, and there was really nothing I could do about it. I still do not know what saddened me more; the feeling of uselessness, the momentary loss of God, or death itself.
My grandfather was a healthy, 69 year old preacher at the local Methodist church in Pennsylvania’s Cumberland County. My earliest memories of him were when I was about 5 years old. I had to spend an entire year with him and my grandmother while my mother was stationed in Korea. Honestly, I believe that year set the course for my future, the passions I still hold dear to me to this day, and it was all thanks to my grandfather. Every night, he would read me several chapters of a book. Every night I was able to dive into the world of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Narnia. We would also go to local plays at the playhouse down the road. Oh, how I loved seeing everyone in their costumes giving the audience all they had from their slapstick humor, to their melancholy tales. These moments are really the only ones I can recall in my childhood with vivid detail.
Every summer and winter after that, I continued to fly out to Pennsylvania to see them. Every time I eagerly waited to hear the stories and see the plays with my grandfather. My grandfather, who was so optimistic and full of energy, who seemed to have everything under control. I even recall us racing across the backyard once, and he beat me!
Then, I went over in the summer of 2005, when I was 10 years old…
It was my second week there, my grandfather was working out in the backyard, when suddenly he began to complain about extreme stomach pains. It had gotten so bad, he had to come inside and my grandmother took him to the hospital. I spent that night with the neighbors, I honestly had no idea what was going on. It was a few days later when my grandmother finally told me grandpa was sick with Pancreatic cancer. I could not quite grasp the seriousness of the illness, but the word “cancer” hit me like a ton of bricks.
I suppose at the time I believed my grandpa was invincible. He worked for God, didn’t he? At one point, I found myself constantly praying and it seemed in return all that was happening was that he kept getting sicker and weaker. I remember in the last few days I was there, he returned home. I basically clung to his weak and frail body for the next week. While he remained in his bed, he managed to read the fifth Harry Potter book to me, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It was the series he had read to me since I was small, and we both loved it. Even though he would sometimes become weak while reading, and drift to sleep, he was determined to finish it.
The final day I was there, he did.
He had begun to read the sixth book to me, but we ran out of time. My mother had come to pick me up and drive me back down to Colorado to begin school. I clearly remember loading up into the car and seeing my grandfather standing on the porch. His body weak and pale, but he managed to walk all the way outside. Still in his red robe, we pulled out of the driveway and he gave me a wave and a smile.
That was the last time I ever saw him.
I found out he had finally lost his battle with the cancer in the fall. My mother sat me down in our kitchen and told me the news, as calm as she possibly could. I recall literally running out of the house crying, retreating to the tree in our front yard. I just stayed there for about half an hour, wondering and questioning why this had to happen.
His funeral came a few weeks later, we flew over the ceremony and I rarely uttered a word the entire time we were there. Before I left, my grandma gave me all the Harry Potter books my grandpa had read to me. When I returned home and opened the sixth one, I found his bookmark, halfway through the book. I read and finished the book myself, eventually getting the final one and reading it all the way through.
I plan on writing a summary of how it ended, just for my grandpa. When I turn eighteen, I will return to where his ashes are buried and leave a simple folded paper just for him with all the details secured inside. Just for him to see, from me.
I haven’t actually read through it myself yet, so excuse any spelling/grammatical errors.