It was a cold day, and it was snowing actually. The football game was going and the crowd was cheering. North versus South; the ultimate school rivalry of Middletown. The one and only Thanksgiving Day game of the year, and it was the worst day of my life.
Starting off the day with waking up at 6:30 in the morning and rushing to the school by 7 so my family can take pictures with my sister since she was a cheerleader. Fast forward time and the game has ended. North lost, just like we have for the past eighteen years or so. The families are all rushing out of the parking lot and to their own family celebrations of this Thanksgiving feast. I was rushing to the last Thanksgiving I would spend with my grandpa.
We arrive in Staten Island close to 12:30 and start immediately preparing food. We didn’t have our usual number of guests this year, which is normally about 35 people. It was just me, my brothers, my sister, my parents, my two aunts, and my grandparents. Just the eleven of us. Twelve if you include the dog.
It’s now 4:30. Dinner is made and all is good. We’re all laughing, except for my grandpa. See, the six months prior to Thanksgiving Day, my grandpa had slowly lost the ability to use his hands, speak, walk, and breathe properly. He was diagnosed with Angiosarcoma and had little time to live after fighting it for five years and another cancer for over twenty years. He would communicate through singing, but in the end, he couldn’t say goodbye.My grandpa was always a lively man and always joked around trying to make people laugh. He loved scaring people and his laugh was the most booming, yet wheezy, laugh you would ever hear in your life. It signaled that everything was okay with him. But he lost that ability, too, months before his death.
The next twenty minutes felt like everything was in slow motion. My mom came running to me and told me to stay in the dining room and to not go upstairs for a while. I thought everything was okay, just my grandpa was throwing up or something. I was eleven and naive.
It’s 4:40 now and my mom is on the phone with one of her workers. Her worker specialized in cancer patients. Words were flying out of my mom’s mouth so fast that I couldn’t catch anything besides for one phrase. “He’s foaming at the mouth and I don’t know what to do or how to stop it. Please help.” She was sprinting up and down the stairs trying to find the right medications and other things that would possibly help.
It’s 4:48. My mom comes down the stairs, tears staining her cheeks. He has passed. We couldn’t do anything to stop it. It was inevitable but it came to early. We all huddled around his bed and sobbed for two hours.
Later that night, the funeral service came to take his body. I couldn’t stop crying. The house was silent except for the occasional sob from one of us. We ate dinner in silence while the men took his body away. Nobody dared to go near that room for months.
Everything was so hectic that day that we never even got to sing happy birthday to Connor and Michael. For the day of November 27, 2014 was Connor and Michael’s 15th birthday and Thanksgiving Day. November 27, 2014 was the day my grandpa passed away and left the largest scar on my heart.
It is now September 21, 2018 and I still have days where I cry over how much I miss him and wonder if he is proud of me for all that I’ve done with my life. How much I wish he could see what I’ve accomplished with my life. I miss him dearly and this Thanksgiving will be just like every other; a reminder my grandpa is no longer with us.