The Journal | Teen Ink

The Journal

August 31, 2013
By emaweee BRONZE, Rushville, Missouri
emaweee BRONZE, Rushville, Missouri
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

November 7

It was a cold day, today, bitter and chilly. The air was scathingly harsh and ruthlessly unforgiving to any who dared to be out and about. Though I ignored the lingering bite and the cold snuggly wrapped around my neck, as if a noose, it didn’t stop the sneeze that racked my body and rattled my bones. When the sneeze faded and eventually passed, I remembered the words my grandfather lovingly told me once as a boy. He was superstitious and suspicious in the best of times, but I still loved him none-the-less. To this day, I still indulge him and his eccentric whims and speculations. He would say a sneeze was a sign universe informing you of being talked of by others. Silly and ridiculous as it may have been, I couldn’t quite shake the feeling of just that.

November 12

My mood, bleak and hollow, had been progressively becoming worse as the day dragged on. Like a snail in front of a French man, I wanted to crush it and let it wither in the corrosiveness of salt, but sadly the morning continued on regardless of how I felt. As of late, my mood hasn’t been of the best quality nor has been my appetite. Somewhere along the way, colors seemed to fade and lose their vibrancy and were soon replaced by shades of dull grey and suffocating black. I became even more sluggish and unwillingly to do anything I didn’t have to. I was becoming jaded and I didn’t know why. To be frank, it was a chore to roll out of bed. My wife, bless her soul, has tried and tried, but I can’t bring myself to tell her she isn’t helping at all and to just quit. It would be too harsh and she was far too supportive; allowing me to wallow in my own pool of self-pity was the best she could do, for now at least. I write this in hopes when my spirit is back and my drive isn’t so lost, I will look back and see the clutches I have escaped and, I pray, I’ll never go back to. Someone has knocked on my front door, so I’ll end this now.

November 18

I have been in disbelief for a better part of a week. The last time I wrote, I had been handed a crisp, crème colored envelope adorning my name in a messy scrawl on the front. When I took the outstretched mail, I examined it up close. The hand writing I remembered, vague and hazy as if I was trying to complete a twisted maze in a dense fog of blinding white light. Memories tried to surface, they fought valiantly, but they couldn’t quite make it; they’d hit a roadblock of some sort maybe. I didn’t dwell on the appearance any longer, for I know a lost battle when I see it, and wrenched open the top without caution or remorse. Inside was the same scrawl as on the outside, which I diligently deciphered. With a quick scan before divulging into the main body, I realized with a start it was an invitation of sorts. I can’t recall when I was last invited to something. Maybe in the past, sometime in my youth, had I last been formally invited. I sat and studied the invite for the better part of an hour; mostly spent re-reading and over analyzing. In all honesty, I didn’t believe the contents of the letter; not after the first read. Not after the second either. And most certainly not after the fifteenth. I still haven’t decided on whether I believe or not. It can’t be true. It just can’t be.

November 28

There are not enough words to describe how I feel, though it won’t stop me from trying. I feel as if a perpetual storm cloud drifts leisurely over me. It praises me with unwanted, blinding flashes of light faithfully mixed with tears falling from the heavens. It’s cruel, really. The heavens cry and weep for the man they have gained while I remain lost and abandoned. For today I have lost something precious and I will never forgive. Today I lost someone and while trying to find them, I think I became lost as well. Even as I write these pretty words on this simple paper, I am shaking and almost to the verge of breaking down. There is this river, a huge, angry roaring river that has been uncaged and now swallows me whole; from the inside out. As this river destroys and takes and floods my whole world, I try so hard to stay afloat. My knees are trembling and my palms grow clammy and cold as a mountain dwells on my chest all while a hand clamps onto my heart. There’s a squeezing sensation and the mountain grows heavier as the thought of drowning becomes clearer and more real. My head throbs as a drummer beats it while an axe splits my skull. I realized I couldn’t see and the world around me was bleary and unclear, frightening me even more. When my hand made contact with my cheek, scalding and flushed, I was in shock. I wasn’t losing vision, I had been crying. Like the cloud stationed above me, I too had been crying for the same person. But I wasn’t crying, I discovered once more, I was weeping.

December 13

Today I feel miserable. I feel awful and wretched and pathetic and undeniably sorry. I feel sorry for myself, for this situation, for my grandfather, for everything that has and hasn’t happened. I haven’t come to terms and most certainly haven’t come to closure, but then again, I’m not sure I ever will. Today was his funeral, the day they would bury him deep within the ground. It wasn’t fair. It wasn’t fair! I feel like I have been wrongly cheated in the worst way possible. My grandfather was honorable and respectable and all those high praising words you could think of. But he wasn’t just the words written on a random newspaper or said by a preacher, he just wasn’t. He had pride and didn’t like to admit when he was wrong but he never taunted you if he was right. He was caring and strict and filled with a flame brighter and warmer than the sun. He worked hard every day to provide for us so my siblings and I could continue our education uninterrupted. Working from five till dusk, he never complained though I often caught my grandmother rubbing his sore back. I later found out he once dreamed of becoming a lawyer or a doctor, something where he would be able to help others, but he could never afford or attend the schooling he needed. He gave it up, the pursuit, to provide for his family when his own father died during a war leaving his mother widowed and broken. He never hit but he was no pushover, only disciplining us when we truly needed and deserved it. He wanted us to learn from our own mistakes the most. Grandfather, I like to remember, was the only father figure I had ever known. My mother, I can barely even recall her face now, was featureless just like my father. She had died during labor, delivering my youngest sister to the world, who was three years younger than me. I was the second oldest, but already the man of the family, for I was the only boy. Five months after she died, I think, was when he left – my father. He packed up our bags one day and left us with our grandfather and never came back. That day… his face is what I’ll never forget. That look in his eyes was full of pain but I didn’t know why then and I’m not even sure if I do now. When he left, my grandparents took care of all us with no fuss or complaints. They were the nicest people I would ever know. Grandfather was the type of man to give up his umbrella, if he ever had one, to a stranger drenched in the pouring rain or to help out a neighbor with no hidden ulterior motives. To him, practically everyone was a neighbor. He was older and had mannerisms of a gentlemen, which I found odd at times, but he told us it was the way he was taught growing up. Grandmother would often say he was born in the era where chivalry still existed. I can proudly write now that he taught us those same values. I can still remember some of them: treat a lady, no matter the age, with respect, treat a teacher with respect especially if she was a lady, and always treat your parents with respect. In my case, I was to treat my grandparents with it too which I never minded. How could I? And sitting here now, I can’t help but to hate writing about him in past tense. It feels as if I’m betraying him in the most intimate of ways. To be completely honest, I don’t really know why I wrote all this down. Maybe it’s because I want to justify that my grandfather had been alive; that he had been real and not just some lifeless corpse buried in the earth. I want to remember him and I’m scared that people will forget, that I might forget, and I don’t want that. Not for him.

December 13

It has been a year. A year without him and I don’t really know how I feel about it, about his death. I can finally say it out loud. Death. I’m no closer to closure or acceptance, but I haven’t forgotten nor has Grandfather been forgotten. Today I realized I was better, if only just a little – it didn’t matter, I was better. And that I will continue to get better; little by little if need be.

Today I visited his grave for the first time.

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