Copyright 2009 by Leah Faulkner
As soon as I walked in, I could smell the fragrance of fresh flowers. They filled the entire room. Wall to wall. My family was there. Aunts, uncles, cousins, even the stray that nobody sees anymore except for those not-so-good times. I even met some new faces that were my second cousins twice removed but were back in the family some how. I tried to be polite as possible, but when I didn’t want to be, it was hard. I didn’t want to be.
“Okay, this is it!”
I had wrecked my priceless Jeep Liberty and had to purchase a new vehicle. Oh the agony of car shopping. I decided on something after a week of searching.
“Are you sure?”
I was sure. I was tired of looking, and my dad was as well.
He knew what he was doing and what he would be paying. While he was haggling, my mom, my sister, and I waited outside. Stuff like that made us nervous. Thirty minutes later he came out with a smile on his face and the keys. I was happy. We had to leave to be somewhere so the dealer wanted us to come back later that afternoon to let him spruce it up.
The afternoon came, and my dad and I headed back in my new car to the dealership.
“Where are yall?” It was my sister.
“We just pulled into the dealership. Why?”
“Something’s wrong with granddaddy. Mrs. Ann just called the house in a panic saying that he fell off the couch and isn’t responding. The ambulance is at their house and so is mama.” “Hilary, hold on. Daddy, something’s wrong with granddaddy.”
His face turned pale with a stream of terror in his eyes.
“He was sitting on the couch and fell off and isn’t responding. The ambulance is about to carry him to the hospital.”
“Hilary, which hospital?”
“Jackson. Ya’ll hurry.”
I got off the phone with my sister, and I could see my dad’s fear growing. He ran into the dealership and told him what was going on. He jumped back into the car, and we were off. He was speeding up to almost 100 and turned the flashers on. Speeding in my brand new car. I wasn’t worried.
We arrived at the emergency room, and family was everywhere. Crying. It hit me then that something was wrong. Really wrong. I saw my mother and asked what happened.
“He was sitting on the couch playing his guitar and just fell over. Ann heard him say ‘oh,’ and that was it.”
We had been told a few months before that he had a brain aneurysm. The doctor told him to just enjoy life and have no worries. That was exactly what he had done. He started playing the guitar much more than he had. That was one of his favorite things to do. He was playing one of his favorite songs when he fell called “I’d Rather Have Jesus.” He was a religious man, and there wasn’t a doubt in mind where he would go when his time came.
After many hours of waiting, the doctors came and told us that his aneurysm had ruptured; they did all that they could. My heart sank into my chest, and everything around me became fuzzy. This wasn’t happening. It couldn’t be real. I didn’t want to lose my granddaddy.
They finally moved him into a room, and let us say goodbye. I knew it would be the hardest goodbye I would ever have to say. We walked into his room and saw him lying on the bed. I walked to his side and placed my hand on his hand. It was cold. I leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. A tear streamed down my face and ended on his.
“Granddaddy, I love you, and I can’t wait to see you again.”
I walked out of the room, and that was it. It was his time.
Two days later, we had his visitation. Family
and friends were everywhere. The same, “I’m sorry’s”
and “we will be praying for you’s” began to drain
me. Thank goodness it was time to go. I walked over to my granddaddy
and told him bye one more time. I knew he was in a better place, and
at that very moment, that was all I could want.
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